Published On: Wed, Jan 11th, 2023
Published in Category: International

Strong Sister Province Partnership b/w California & Punjab to create win-win situation: Sardar Masood Khan

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CALIFORNIA: “A strong sister province partnership between California and Punjab in the areas of agriculture, education, industry and IT entrepreneurship would help exploiting untapped economic potential and promote greater people to people exchanges,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan said.

“The economy of California, on one hand, and a vibrant middle class of largest populated province of Pakistan, on the other could create the required synergies for nurturing a mutually beneficial and win-win partnership,” he continued.

Ambassador Sardar Masood Khan made these remarks while addressing Pakistani-American community leaders, California lawmakers, educationists and social entrepreneurs at a reception hosted by Dr. Asif Mahmood, a prominent leader and politician, at his residence.

The reception was attended among others by Rep. Judy Chu, California State Assembly member Chris Holden, Former secretary Labor Hilda Solis, representatives from State Assembly and a large number of Pak-American community leaders.

Former prime minister Senator Makhdoom Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani was also present on the occasion. Chairman Planning and Development Wasif Khurshid represented the province of Punjab.

Welcoming Pakistani delegation to California, Congresswoman Judi Chu highlighted similarities between California and Punjab including strong agricultural bases and vibrant population of the two sides.

“This will be a start of wonderful partnership between California and Punjab as we have so many commonalities to build up on,” Congresswoman observed.

Ambassador Masood Khan thanked Dr. Asif Mahmood for the warm welcome and for continuously working to project soft image of Pakistan in California.

Highlighting the strengths of Pak-US relationship, Ambassador Khan said that the decades long bilateral relationship was characterized by ‘longevity and resilience’.

“From the Cold War and post-Cold War periods, we have brought this legacy of cooperation to the era of new technological age, which is constantly transforming regional and global landscapes,” he continued.

“The spirit of solidarity between our two nations continues,” said Pakistan’s top envoy to the United States.

Masood Khan highlighted the critical role of Pakistani diaspora in cementing mutual bonds of friendship and serving as a ‘bridge’ between the two countries as well as Punjab and California.

“More than 200,000 Pak-Americans in California and West Coast are acting as a catalyst in our relationship,” he continued.

The Ambassador highlighted recent spurt in bilateral trade volume and observed that there existed huge potential especially in tech and IT sectors to enhance bilateral trade volume.

Sardar Masood Khan expressed the hope that a strong partnership between California and Punjab would be instrumental in tapping the existing potential for mutual benefit of the people.

Meanwhile the agreement to declare Punjab and California as sister provinces was signed at the State Capitol building in Sacramento, California. Representing the state of California, Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California State Assembly signed the agreement. On behalf of the government of Punjab, the agreement was signed by Wasif Khurshid, Chairman Planning and Development board Punjab. Ambassador Masood Khan witnessed the signing ceremony. Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani was also present at the occasion. The signing ceremony was attended by Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California, Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California State Assembly, Chris Holden, members of the California State Assembly, US State officials and large number of Pakistani-American community leaders.

The Ambassador and the visiting delegation of Pakistan were warmly received at the California State Assembly and the complete delegation was recognized and greeted at the floor of the House. The sister province agreement between California and Punjab would promote mutual trade and commerce and increase the potential for educational, environmental, and cultural relations between the Province of Punjab and the State of California. This would also provide an opportunity to exploit the untapped economic potential and promote people to people contacts. The state of California, which is among the top four economies of the world and a vibrant middle class of Punjab would create the required synergies for nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship and a win-win partnership. The delegation earlier in the day also visited the University of California Davis, the leading agricultural and veterinary research university in the world and met Chancellor Gary May. Both sides discussed ways to strengthen the collaboration between UC Davis and Agriculture University Faisalabad and agreed to further build up on the partnership.

The two sides discussed ways and means to promote collaboration in export of mangoes and dates from Pakistan and agri-tech for Kinoos from the US. UC Davis support in hybrid seeds of wheat, cotton and rice also came under discussion. Cooperation on Climate smart agriculture was also discussed during the meeting.