US diplomat for efforts to ensure safety of minority members

Kristin Hawkins says an English language programme was organised in Lahore for members of transgender community.

She was speaking at the “Inclusive Governance Summit” organised by Punjab Human Rights Department and Youth Development Foundation. US Consul General said many challenges still persisted that affect members of minority communities.

“We must continue our efforts to break down social barriers, promote equal access to economic and educational opportunities, and ensure safety and security of minority communities”, she told participants. She said her country was and would remain a staunch partner of Pakistan in such efforts.

US Consul General said they were working In Punjab to ensure educational, exchange, and business programmes are accessible to all. “Sometimes, we tailor programmes to the needs of specific communities”, she said.

Kristin Hawkins said an English language programme was organised in Lahore for members of transgender community, which strengthened the competitiveness of the participants in the job market. Last week, USAID launched a new five-year initiative that would benefit southern Punjab, she said.

US Consul General said she had visited Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Sargodha, DG Khan and Nankana Sahib to learn more about history and cultural heritage of each region.

“We all know much work remains to ensure all people have access to a prosperous, inclusive, peaceful future,” she said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Punjab Human Rights Secretary Ali Bahadur Qazi, former Human Rights Secretary Dr Shuaib Akbar, MPA and former Minority Affairs Minister Ijaz Alam Augustine and MPA Sonia Ashiq were among the participants in the summit.

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