IBA Karachi hosts Consul General of United States

November 29, 2021: The International Resource Center, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi held a session with Mr. Mark Stroh, the Consul General (CG) of United States in Karachi. The talk was hosted by Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, the Executive Director, IBA Karachi at the Main Campus. Dr. Zaidi opened the session by introducing Mr. Stroh. Members of the IBA faculty, students, and staff attended the event.

Mr. Stroh conversed on the topic, 'Diplomatic ties between the United States and Pakistan: The history of a rich relationship'. He engaged with the audience to deliberate the Pakistan-US relations, history, and diplomacy.

The CG gave a short overview of the US and Pakistan bilateral relationship. He said that it was an honour to represent Karachi, Pakistan's biggest metropolis and economic hub. Shedding light on the diplomatic ties between the US and Pakistan, the CG said that he was amazed by the depth and resilience of this relationship.

Mr. Stroh spoke about the various international exchange programs including the Fulbright Scholarship program, and stated that it was heartening that many IBA students participate in this exchange program. He said that this program encapsulated a treasure trove of Pakistan's talent. He further urged the IBA students to benefit from the various US educational exchange programs.

Addressing the decades-long collaboration on the health front, the CG said that these ties had further strengthened amid Covid-19, where the US was one of the biggest provisioner of Covid-19 vaccines to Pakistan. He also commended the Sindh government's active role in tackling the Pandemic and said that the Sindh government lead as an example for the rest of the country to follow.

Speaking on the projects for a better climate, Mr. Stroh appreciated the IBA's green and serene campus and said that the US and Pakistan were working together on many avenues to safeguard the environment, including 12 new wind and solar projects and clean energy projects that focus on the conversion of fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The CG said that the IBA Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) was close to his heart as he was a journalist himself and he hopes to promote free and impartial journalism in the region through the CEJ and looked forward to working further in this regard along with Dr. Zaidi.

On women empowerment, Mr. Stroh highlighted that 106 schools were established across 10 districts of Sindh and a special emphasis was placed on establishing school for girls. Many scholarships have been awarded on the educational front and more than half of these have been awarded to females. He said that to make a country succeed, it must empower its women.

Shedding light on the economic ties, the CG said that the US is Pakistan's largest products buyer and that the US businesses were the largest investors in Pakistan. He said that the reason for these notable investments was due to a very competent and skilled Pakistani workforce.

Mr. Stroh also commended the capabilities and competence of the Pakistan navy and said that he looked forward to celebrating Pakistan's 75th founding year in 2022. He said that the US was one of the first countries to recognize Pakistan as a sovereign state in 1947.

The CG said that the US and Pakistan both want to play an active role in ensuring a peaceful and sovereign South Asia. He said that he firmly believed in the bilateral elations between the US and Pakistan. Mr. Stroh said that together both the countries must work on numerous avenues to stabilize this region.

Following the conversation, an engaging Q&A session ensued between Mr. Stroh and the audience.

Dr. Zaidi and Mr. Stroh exchanged mementos at the end of the session.