KARACHI: US Embassy Charge d’affaires a.i. Lesslie Viguerie visited Karachi, where he met with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Pakistan Navy officials, and prominent business leaders and women entrepreneurs to promote and strengthen the many ties between the United States and Pakistan.


Charge Viguerie commended Chief Minister Shah for his support of United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) projects in Sindh, which are aimed at strengthening the province’s education, health, and agricultural sectors through civilian assistance grants, according to a statement issued Friday.


Charge Viguerie affirmed the importance of the U.S.-Pakistan military relationship during his meeting with Rear Admiral Naveed Ashraf. Later, Charge Viguerie took a deck tour of the USS Monterey, a U.S. Navy ship docked at Karachi Port. The USS Monterey visited Karachi to conduct extensive interoperability training and subject matter expert exchange with Pakistan Navy counterparts. U.S. officers and sailors were hosted for dinner aboard the Pakistan Navy Ship Aslat before cooperating in bilateral maritime security training at sea.


To further boost commercial ties between the United States and Pakistan, Charge Viguerie met with members of the business community, including executives from the American Business Council, to discuss ways to support U.S. and Pakistani companies in key sectors including agriculture, information and communication technology, renewable energy, and LNG. Charge Viguerie also engaged with prominent Pakistani businesswomen to understand opportunities and challenges facing women-led businesses and identify areas in which the U.S. government can better support their endeavors.


One of the highlights of Charge Viguerie’s visit was the inauguration of a new U.S. government-funded high school in Karachi. The construction of this school is part of the Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP), under which USAID is supporting the construction of 106 schools across 10 districts in Sindh. Through SBEP, USAID has invested $159.2 million (PKR 25 billion) in school construction in Sindh. During his visit, Charge Viguerie also paid his respects at the tomb of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.