Munter Reaffirms American Commitment

Islamabad, June 13, 2012 (PPI-OT): U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter and Dr. Marilyn Wyatt visited Muzaffarabad and Bagh today to highlight the United States’ support for educational opportunities and local development in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Ambassador Munter’s visit, his first to the region, was an opportunity to renew ties with the government leadership of AJK and to meet with local residents who have benefited from U.S. assistance.

“Today’s visit is an important opportunity for me to renew the friendship of the people of the United States with the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir,” Ambassador Munter said. “As we demonstrated with our support to AJK following the devastating 2005 earthquake, and as we continue to show with our assistance today, the United States has an enduring partnership with this region.”

In Muzaffarabad, Ambassador Munter met with a delegation of AJK government officials, including AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majid and Opposition Leader Raja Farooq Haider Khan to discuss current issues in the region. Jointly with AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, Ambassador Munter presented U.S.-funded scholarships to 115 students who are pursuing degrees in teaching. The scholarships are part of a five-year $75 million teacher education project that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding across Pakistan and AJK.

Ambassador Munter also met with local community members who have benefited from U.S. grant programs to discuss how these grants have helped improve life in their communities. The U.S. has funded a variety of projects in the region that were designed by community members to meet pressing local needs. Projects include: rebuilt roads to link remote communities, flood control structures and micro hydro electric power stations to power small towns, and health camps to improve access to health care in remote areas. These and other grants awarded to communities in AJK have been funded by the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund and the USAID Small Grants program.

In Bagh District, Ambassador Munter met students and school leadership from the Government Boy’s High School and the Government Girl’s High School in Arja. The U.S. funded the reconstruction of both schools following the 2005 earthquake. Ambassador Munter toured the Boy’s school and emphasized that the U.S. is committed to improving access to quality education in the region.

For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607
E-mail: webmasterisb@state.gov

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