WASHINGTON: The Pakistan Embassy in Washington has announced to launch Experience Pakistan project in the United States to engage Pakistani-American youth as well as Pakistani professional and community organizations to realize the potential of overseas Pakistanis.

Under the project, the Embassy of Pakistan would arrange group visits of Pakistani-American youth to Pakistan at frequent intervals. The participants of the programme would be provided unique opportunities of experiencing various dimensions of rising and modernizing Pakistan in its cultural and historical perspectives.

In a letter sent to members of Pakistani diaspora in the US, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani asked the community to join the programme and encouraged the young Pakistani American to avail themselves of this unique opportunity to visit and experience Pakistan for themselves.

This will be a major public diplomacy initiative, aimed specifically to engage with Pakistani-American youth, he wrote in the letter.

He said that Pakistan’s potential to achieve optimal and sustainable growth is hampered by incorrect narratives and distorted image shaped over time. The negative external influences have had a direct impact on the nature and scalability of available development channels.

It is, therefore, a priority of government of Pakistan to ensure that the country’s strengths and full potential are harnessed, he added.

The project is initiated by the Ministry of Planning and development and reform, in light of Pakistan Vision 2025. The “Know your roots” project aims to proactively engage the young Pakistani Diaspora all over the world, as well as Pakistani professional and community organizations.

The project aims at connecting the young Pakistani-Americans to Pakistan.

The Pakistani-American youth would be able to visit various cities of Pakistan and interact with senior government representatives and other important institutions.

The project will be financed through sponsors and participants will be required to bear a registration fee. In the first phase of the Project, 50 participants will be divided into five groups and their visits would be sponsored through the Embassy.

All Participants must be of Pakistan-origin, should fall in the age group of 18-26 years and must have finished at least high school education by the time their trip to Pakistan departs.

The participants would be required to offer their input on how we can jointly improve cooperation between Pakistan and the United States. They would be asked to identify channels through which they can contribute for the betterment of Pakistan.

Their inputs in the form of ideas on how Pakistan’s national policies on the issues of national importance could be improved would be welcomed.

Following the visit, they would be expected to project a better and positive image of Pakistan by becoming brand ambassadors of Pakistan.

The groups under the Project would form an Alumni Network which the future batches could be engaged to further the mission.