The Area Studies Center for Africa, North and South America at Quaid-i-Azam University and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad here on Friday co-hosted a two-day virtual conference on “American Studies in Pakistan: Challenges and Way Forward.” According to a press release, the participants of the conference discussed ways to promote American Studies in Pakistan and analyzed the importance of such academic activities in promoting people-to-people contacts and strengthening U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations. The Vice-Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University, Professor Dr. Muhammad Ali, lauded the U.S. Embassy’s efforts to promote rich academic culture through such engagements with universities in Pakistan. He further said that the conference was a timely initiative by the Area Study Center and the American Embassy in Islamabad, where the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan were going through transformation and adjusting to the evolving geopolitical realities of the region. U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires Lesslie Viguerie said, “I am confident that our bilateral ties will grow, in part, because of events such as the American Studies Conference. By championing the importance of the American Studies discipline, we are promoting understanding between our peoples. By exchanging ideas and making connections with each other, we are deepening the relationship between our two countries.” The principal guest, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, acknowledged in his opening remarks the efforts of the U.S government in promoting academic excellence for Pakistanis. “This is a very important conference because we have a long bilateral relationship with the United States, and it is important for our students to engage with the U.S. through such efforts,” he said.