By Ali Imran
MANASSAS (Virginia), June 26 : Higher education links between the United States and Pakistan foster understanding at people-to-people level and also advance bilateral relations, a group of Virginia politicians noted at an event held to recognize Pakistani faculty attending a course at George Mason University.
The event, hosted by Siddique Sheikh, head of Pakistan American Business Association, was attended by prominent Virginian political leaders including State Senator Mark Obenshain, who is the Republican candidate for Attorney General in November election, members House of Delegates Jackson Miller, who is the majority whip and Richard Anderson, Buddy Beck, member Board of Visitors at George Mason, Corky Calahou, VP of Nova Petroleum, Amjad Ali Sheikh, Manager National Bank and Prof. James Witte, Director of the Center for Social Science Research at George Mason University. Some leading Pakistani-American entrepreneurs and scholars also attended the event.
The lawmakers expressed their appreciation for Pakistani-Americans’ contribution to economic development of the State, particularly the business leaders, many of whom have achieved the American dream of progress and create job opportunities for citizens in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Senator Obenshain hoped that the educational partnership between the NUST and George Mason would benefit the Pakistani scholars and help build international bridges.
He also addressed concerns voiced by members of the Pakistani-American community regarding some mainstream Republicans’ opinionated attitudes towards Muslims. He pledged that as Attorney General he would work with full honesty and integrity. The senator also underscored his commitment to provide equal economic opportunity and education for all communities living in the State.
In his remarks, Siddique Sheikh, who is on the University’s Board of Visitors (directors) and member Advisory Board Council NUST, expressed confidence that the exchange of visits between the two institutions would help the Pakistani academics acquire latest standards of imparting education.
“Your presence here is a powerful message that Pakistan has so many highly educated and skilled people —- I’m sure that this course will help promote understanding and good relations — this will bring us together and help the dialogue (between the two nations).”
As leader of the NUST delegation, Dr. Hamood Ur Rehman, told the gathering that the interaction at George Mason affords an excellent opportunity for Pakistani researchers and scholars to improve their skills and take back home the experience to teach the students on modern lines.
On behalf of George Mason University, Dr. Eirini Gouleta, Associate Professor International Education, praised the Pakistani faculty’s eagerness and attention to learning newest methods of teaching and research.