Senator Joyce for Liberal Grant of Visa to Pakistan Students

A day after returning to Massachusetts following a two-week political study mission to Pakistan, Senator Brian A. Joyce (D-Milton) declared the trip a success and said he hoped it would help bolster further dialogue between the two allies.
During the 10-day trip, the American Council of Young Political Leaders delegation led by Senator Joyce, met with Pakistani political figures including Senate Chair Mohammedmian Soomro, Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan, Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and the Lahore Mayor Mian Amir Mahmood.
The theme of the trip was the need to foster better understanding between the two countries during these turbulent times, explained Joyce who said he and his colleagues greatly benefited from the candid conversation with senior government and political officials, industry executives, and community leaders. Topics discussed included the war on terrorism, democracy and an upcoming Pakistani election, as well as human rights and women's suffrage.

“Pakistan is a fascinating country, one that plays a pivotal global economic, cultural and military role. It is clear that we need to promote dialogue between the two nations to eradicate the many misperceptions that prevail in both countries," Joyce said.
Joyce added that he hopes the Bush administration will consider reversing its decision to severely limit student visa in the wake of September 11 as it will affect an entire generation of Pakistanis who would not be exposed to American principles and values.
"Education is the key to diplomacy," Joyce said. "By closing our doors to foreigners, we effectively alienate the next generation of international leaders."



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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