ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pak-US Knowledge Corridor is one of the most significant initiatives in the entire diplomatic history of Pakistan and the US.

He vowed to facilitate as many as 10,000 talented Pakistani scholars for enrollment in the top US universities over 10 years.

These students will be enrolled for doctorate studies during the next 10 years in different fields – including Water and Food Security, Environmental Science, Climate Change and Digital Technologies. The minister expressed these views during a meeting with the US delegation led by Ambassador David Hale who called on him at the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

"Pakistan highly values its relations with the US," the minister said in his welcoming remarks. He stated that US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor is the most important initiative taken in decades-long strategic relations between the two countries and it has all potential to further promote the people-to-people relations.

Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan is committed to expand mutual cooperation with the US in the sectors which bring socio-economic benefits and wellbeing of the region. Sustainable development brings peace and prosperity which is in the best interest of whole mankind, he said.

The minister was of the view that the Knowledge Corridor is the key to achieve the agenda of Pakistan Vision 2025 for transforming the country into knowledge economy. He said both countries would have to further promote mutual cooperation to deal the challenge of poverty, economic imbalance and social injustice.

Ahsan also suggested that the US must consider to offer 3-6 months fellowship to the brilliant Pakistani youth for helping their capacity building and enable to come up with better performance under democratic framework.

Earlier, in a special interactive session with the US universities PhD alumni teaching in Pakistan, the minister said that Pakistani youth has immense potential to move the country towards peace and prosperity.

"We envisage training of 10,000 PhD in 10 years in top 200 US universities for which government of Pakistan will provide scholarships," the minister vowed. He said that government is committed to establish university campuses in every district across the country. The session was held at the HEC office and HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar was also present on the occasion.

A large number of US alumni attended the session, and lauded the positive contribution of the minister for empowering the youth in the national development, and decision making processes.