Ambassador of Pakistan to the U.S. Masood Khan has called for strengthening cultural ties between Pakistan and the United States and to promote people to people exchanges. The existing cultural affinities and linkages, he said, formed a foundation for promoting understanding between the two nations. The Ambassador made these remarks while talking to Dr. Paul Michael Taylor, Head of the prestigious Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Cultural History Program, who called on him today. During the meeting, the Ambassador highlighted the important role of cultural and people to people exchanges in strengthening bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States. He noted that the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of Pak-U.S. Diplomatic ties this year provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the close cultural linkages between the two countries. He added that through such exchanges people of both countries could better understand each other’s perspectives and cultures. Dr. Taylor briefed the Ambassador on the rich collection maintained by the Smithsonian Asian Cultural History Program on Pakistan, particularly on Kashmir. He said that he had frequently travelled to Pakistan and was interested in working on the rich cultural heritage of the region. He also shared his earlier collaboration with Lok Virsa on a multi-year museum and archival capacity building project as well as his ongoing collaboration with International Resource Centre (IRC) and Maati TV in Lahore on a series of programs encouraging local production of films in Central and South Punjab. The Ambassador said that the Embassy was keen to work and collaborate with the Smithsonian Institute in different cultural fields, by facilitating bilateral exchanges and organizing events to promote rich Pakistani culture in the United States. In this regard, he invited the Smithsonian Institute to partner with the Embassy to mark the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of Pak-U.S. diplomatic ties. Dr. Taylor welcomed the idea and conveyed his interest in collaborating with the Embassy to mark this important milestone. Dr. Taylor also spoke about the various fellowships and research opportunities offered by the Smithsonian Institute for graduate, pre-doctoral, or post-doctoral students. He said that there was very little interest from Pakistan in these fellowships and that he looked forward to have more participation from Pakistani applicants in these programs.