ISLAMABAD – More than 500 alumni of the US Government-sponsored exchange programmes gathered to share their experiences and commit to building trust and understanding between the United States and Pakistan.

This second annual event of the Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN) attracted politicians, parliamentarians, scholars, journalists, professionals, and students — all of whom are alumni of various exchange programmes to the United States.

“My American colleagues and I are heartened that it is your good experiences in our country - whether decades ago or only last year - that bring you together as a community, as a group motivated to do good work in Pakistan based on what you learned, who you met, and what inspired you when you were in the United States,” said Ambassador Richard Hoagland, Chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Islamabad and PUAN’s chief guest for the event. PUAN President Samina Imtiaz encouraged participants to volunteer for the network’s activities to spread the knowledge they gained in the United States throughout Pakistan.

The US Government invests nearly $30 million annually on exchange programs for Pakistan. More than 1,000 Pakistanis participate in the various high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional U.S.-sponsored exchange programs each year.

PUAN is one of the largest U.S. alumni networks in the world. Its mission is to encourage people-to-people relationships between Pakistanis and Americans. Consisting of over 9,000 students and professionals who have participated in U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs, PUAN organizes a number of events in Pakistan, including community service projects, leadership trainings, roundtable discussions, and community engagement activities.

PUAN has ten regional chapters across the country in Sindh, Jamshoro, Balochistan, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Multan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.