Masood Khan hails Pakistani-American physicians role in upgrading Pakistan’s healthcare system; also urges Gaza ceasefire

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WASHINGTON, Pakistan stands for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and resumption of humanitarian assistance, not through just one corridor or one per, but through multiple passages, Ambassador Masood Khan has said.

The solution for Palestine is written large on the wall,” he told the Spring meeting of Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) in Chicago on Saturday.

“Palestinians right to self-determination should be recognized, the Pakistani envoy added.

APPNA is the largest association of Pakistani diaspora in the United States and Canada.

Among the largely-attended meeting were Pakistani-American physicians, healthcare professionals, community leaders and other dignitaries. US Congressman Jamaal Bowman and Congresswoman Delia Remirez addressed the gathering held in a spacious hall.

In his remarks, Masood Khan paid tributes to the services of APPNA for their service to the humanity, and thanked the organization’s president, Asif Mohiuddin, and the Chairperson of the 2024 Spring Meeting, Sajid Mehmood, for providing him with an opportunity to attend this event.

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, in a video message, paid tributes to APPNA physicians for dedicating their lives to medical education and community service. I am forever grateful in the ways in which you all show up to make sure our communities are taken care of.”

Highlighting the contribution being made by Pakistani diaspora, especially the physicians, Ambassador told the audience that 18,000 Pakistani became American citizens this year— majority of them doctors and physicians.

Pakistan and United States, he said, had two rounds of high-level health dialogue wherein the two sides have taken decisions to promote bilateral cooperation in healthcare.

We have requested US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help us establish a CDC in Pakistan for disease surveillance, the Ambassador said. We have also decided to invest our time, energy and resources in non-communicable diseases and prevention of child and maternal mortality, he added.

About investments being made by Pakistani-American doctors back home in telemedicine, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical transcription billing and other subsectors of healthcare, Masood Khan urged the doctors community to scale up their funding in Pakistan.

The idea of health tourism on Turkey’s model should also be explored, he said, pointing out another sector– IT.

Masood Khan highlighted that the country has 192 million mobile phone users with 135 million broadband subscribers, providing a huge opportunity to capitalize in IT investments.

Pakistan is the most cost-effective country as far as IT is concerned, he added.

“Do invest in Pakistan, do have confidence in Pakistan, urged the Ambassador. He reiterated that Pakistani diaspora in the United States, especially doctors, engineers and other professionals were the most abiding link in Pak-US equation.

It is very resilient bond and we are proud of it. This is an asset for Pakistan and for the United States.”

Earlier, the Ambassador also interacted with Pakistani community at the residence of Consul General of Pakistan in Chicago. The attendees included business leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals and community leaders.

Addressing the gathering the Ambassador said there were huge investment opportunities existing in Pakistan especially in IT, agriculture, renewable energy and extractives industries.

He underscored the critical role which was being played by Special Investment Facilitation Council in facilitating investments, removing hurdles and ensuring that the business community is provided with a congenial environment to undertake profitable business ventures in Pakistan.