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Safar 11, 1440

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Pakistan Standard Time 9:58 am


Inspiration from a speech

Dawn (Clarence Rufin) - August 19, 2001

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a special gesture took the children of "Experience Pakistan 2002" around to a few rooms of the 10 Downing Street on Monday and explained to them its historical significance which generated more interest among students.

The 52 school children, mostly of Pakitani origin, from across the United Kingdom were accorded this honour by Tony Blair after their visit to Pakistan last month following an essay competition on Pakistan organized by London? based "Akhter Education Trust and Experience Pakistan 2002", which also paid expenses of their visit.

Blair specially squeezed some time out of his pressing Daily engagements on Monday to take them around to a Cabinet Room and another room of historical import before having a group photo with children outside the 10? Downing Street.

Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, Abul Kader Jaffer, Humyaun A. Mughal Chief Executive of the Akhter Computers Ltd.(sponsor of the competition), were present on the occasion.

Kader Jaffer expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Tony Blair for sparing time.He said "it was very good of the Prime Minister to meet with the children" who had come back after visiting Pakistan and to show them around the 10 Downing Street.

President General Perevez Musharraf, he said, had spent over an hour with these students during their visit to Islamabad.

"It is good for the children to meet leaders of their country and to know more about it", said the High Commissioner at a reception he hosted later on Monday at his residence to treat the children and answered their queries about Pakistan. These children visited Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad, historic Khyper Pass, Murree and enchanting Swat Valley in March and returned impressed by the natural beauty and warmth of the Pakistani people.

Kader Jaffer said "the idea is to create interest among the students about Pakistan. There are so many in the young generation who do not know" much about their country.

"I think this initiative of Humayun is extremely good. It will establish great feelings among the students community and it will also enable the younger generation to visit Pakistan from time to time," he told APP at the reception.

He said Humayun A. Mughal of Akhtar Commuters Ltd. has taken this great initiative in introducing this conmpetition.
"I hope this continues on annual an basis," he said and announced to give award to the best three articles written by these studenst on their trip to Pakistan.

Pakistan High Commission would organize a competition for all the children who visited Pakistan and he urged the 52 students to write an essay. He said each of their schools will send the High Commission three best essays on their visit to Pakistan. Out of all these essays, the best three would be selected for an award.

The High Commission will award 250, 150 ,100 Sterling Pounds to the writer of the first , second and third best essay respectively, he said.

Experience Pakistan 2002 was organized by Ahkter Computers and school students from across the UK was urged to contribute an essay on any aspect of Pakistan.

In all 52 students from these schools were selected for their presentations. Many students both Pakistani and foreigners, participated in the competition by sending their 15 minutes presentations to judged by a panel of 13 judges.

The judges who selected 52 essays of these students included Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Abdul Kader Jaffer, Sir Christopher former UK High Commissioner to Islamabad, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Lord Gatheri, eminent journalist Victoria Scofield, Head of the National Association of Head Teachers UK , Prof. Talbot, Prof. Davuid Taylor and others.

Students who visited Pakistan said they found atmosphere there very friendly and found it very beautiful country and different from the UK.

Ben Littlerich of Impengton Village College(IVC) said he would recommend to his colleagues that "it is very nice country" and natural beauty of "Swat Valley is amazing".

Nadia Mughal of Theperse School Cambridge said "It is very exciting and very different than England". "It is completely different to what is said about in the newspapers". She said, "There is a more crime here than in Pakistan" like burglaries and kidnapping. She said there should be more trips like this to improve the image of Pakistan among the young people.

Another student Jonathan Austin said ,"the main thing is it was completely different from what I expect. There is amazing scenery in Pakistan which you don,t see in England.The people are incredibly friendly that is completely different culture".
He said he was initially worried to go to Pakistan after what he read about in the press but " I realize I need not to worry about. It is safe place'', and tourists could visit many big towns.

DISCLAIMER: The public material presented here is taken from various sources as it becomes available. It is presented without any bias to, or interpretation of, the contents whatsoever. We would be grateful for any help anyone can provide in obtaining other such public material of national importance to Pakistan in order to aid intellectual discourse and debate.

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