ISLAMABAD - US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson on Friday said the United States only supports democracy in Pakistan instead of extending support to any individual including Dr Tahirul Qadri, the chairman of Tehreek Minhajul Quran.
Talking to reporters after attending a function at a hotel here, he said the US did not support any specific political party or person in Pakistan. However, he said that a peaceful end of the long march is encouraging, adding that it was the right of the people of Pakistan to decide for a better future and work in unison. Ambassador Olson further said that the US would like to see free and fair elections for the bright future of Pakistan.
Commenting on the recent tensions between Pakistan and India, Ambassador Olson said:“The two countries need to work together for peace in the region and the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control is encouraging.” He said the US would continue help Pakistan in education and other fields.
Earlier, Olson met with 100 students who have studied in the United States and encouraged them to work hard to make Pakistan a better place.
"Education is the key to future prosperity and economic growth," said Olson. "I'm proud that my country has had a role in your education and helped your country, one student at a time," he told 100 alumni of the Study of the US Institute (SUSI) exchange program. The SUSI program sends students from all regions of Pakistan from various backgrounds to the United States for six weeks to study at a US university.
During the reunion, participants discussed their experiences in the USand revealed plans to develop service projects in their hometowns.
"Your country needs you. Devote your time and energy to making Pakistan the country you want it to be," the ambassador said. "We will continue to support you."
The Ambassador encouraged the students to apply for funding from the US Small Grants program, which awards grants to individuals with promising proposals aimed at improving their communities in Pakistan.
He also encouraged the students to remain engaged in their alumni networks, through which they can organise community service projects, plan social activities and benefit from professional development opportunities. Since 2005, the US Embassy sent over 100 Pakistani university students to the United States to attend the SUSI program. This summer, 32 more students will attend this program.
Through SUSI, students gain skills to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities, receive leadership training, and participate in community service projects.
The US Embassy in Pakistan is sponsoring the largest US exchange program in the world, with 1,000 students and professionals traveling to the United States each year. Some 10,600 low-income students attend college in Pakistan with the support of US-funded scholarships.
In cooperation with the Government of Pakistan, the USis also helping establish centers for advanced studies in Pakistani universities, focusing on energy, water and agriculture.