Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Untied States, Masood Khan, has lauded the immense contributions made by the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) towards strengthening Pakistan’s healthcare system in dealing with other challenges, including floods. “Our doctors have succeeded in the United States beyond imagination — it is a matter of pride for Pakistan and the diaspora community, ” he said at the 10th annual banquet of APPNA’s Delaware Valley Chapter, which represents Pakistani doctors’ of Eastern Pennsylvania, Upper Delaware and South New Jersey. The ambassador said Pakistani-American physicians were a valuable asset of Pakistan and the United States. Pakistan, he said, has problems, but they will be just a blip in the country’s long history. “We will negotiate a transition. We have the wherewithal to do that.” While Pakistan had lagged behind in some areas, it had also progressed in many walks of life, Masood Khan pointed out. “Our human capital is increasing,” he said, adding this was not the time for the Pakistani community to be polarized. This, he added, was a moment to consolidate gains and to be part of the United States’ mainstream. “You should not be on the fringes. You should be in the mainstream because you have the requisite competencies to do that,” he told the gathering. The Ambassador also expressed satisfaction at the growing numbers and influence of Pakistani-Americans in the US political system and other sectors. He expressed appreciation for the services of Tarik Khan, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for Pakistani and the US community. Tarik Khan recently introduced a successful resolution to declare Eid-ul-Fitr as a holiday in the state of Pennsylvania. The Ambassador also thanked APPNA, Dr. Harun Durrani and its other leaders for their support during the devastating floods last year. In another engagement, Ambassador Masood Khan interacted via video-link with about 50 Pakistani students studying in 15 universities and colleges across the United States under the umbrella of Pakistani Students Association Coalition (PSAC), the largest grouping of Pakistani students. Masood Khan lauded the initiative of PSAC in uniting Pakistani students’ associations under one umbrella. He also appreciated its various initiatives towards promoting the cultural heritage of Pakistan and bringing the people of the two countries closer to each other. “Your primary purpose is to excel in your chosen fields. This can never be ignored. But your secondary and equally important responsibility is to imbibe the rich educational ambience inside the campus, outside of campus, across campuses of the United States,” he said. “You have to respect the law of the land and you have to respect the norms of the hosts,” he said. “You must project the real image of Pakistan,” he added. Responding to a question, the Ambassador advised the students to make their mark in their studies, contribute their share towards cementing Pak-US ties and also to invest back in Pakistan. “You are the future of Pakistan. Connect with the youth of Pakistan. Try to understand their concerns. Try to synthesize their aspirations and translate them into policy at different levels,” he said. The Ambassador also urged the students who would soon be stepping into practical life to maintain a close liaison with leading Pakistani-Americans organizations of professionals and entrepreneurs, including APPNA, OPEN for better networking and professional opportunities. The Ambassador thanked President PSAC Areeb Shahid for facilitating the meeting and assured every possible assistance to the coalition in advancing its objectives and agenda.