ISLAMABAD - As many as 52 newly-elected leaders of Pakistan-US Alumni Network met in Islamabad to kick off their terms leading its efforts to strengthen ties between the United States and Pakistan.

Representing the network of over 29,000 Pakistani alumni of the U.S. government-funded overseas and in-country exchange programmes, these new PUAN leaders from across the country spent two days sharing the best practices and developing innovative plans to improve their communities and connect the American and Pakistani people. 

Speaking at the gathering, Ambassador Paul Jones, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Mission in Pakistan, congratulated the new volunteer leaders of the network’s 13 chapters covering all of Pakistan, including Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and he noted PUAN’s contributions to U.S.-Pakistan relations.

“For over 10 years, PUAN has contributed enormously to mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the United States, while also supporting education and prosperity in Pakistan.” he said.

PUAN is the largest network of the U.S. exchange alumni in the world.  Each of PUAN’s regional chapters is led by volunteers who organise community service projects and networking events for its members.

The U.S. government supports exchange programmes for Pakistani citizens that allow thousands of Pakistanis to participate each year in high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional exchange programmes, a statement said.