On May 12, 2014, the Chairman of the Committee on foreign affairs, Congressman Edward R. Royce of the 39th District, California, invited around thirty five Pakistani-Americans to his Rowland Heights office. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the USAID to Pakistan. Mr. Greg Gottlieb, Mission Director from Islamabad, was also in the meeting to answer any related questions and to listen to suggestions by the Pakistani-Americans.
UMA's President, Syed R. Mahmood, from San Francisco, was also an invited guest by the Republican Congressman. Both gentlemen have known each other for the last fifteen years while being members of the California Republican Party. Mr. Lance Butler, a USAID Ombudsman from the Washington D.C. office, also participated in this meeting.
In reference to the topic of the meeting, it was mentioned that the Secretary of State, John Kerry, has launched a robust co-operative development program in Pakistan consisting of: economic growth, energy, education, health, building roads, stabilization and the empowering of women.
On February 20, 2013, Secretary John Kerry said, "Foreign assistance is not a giveaway. It is not charity. It is an investment in a strong America and in a free world. Foreign assistance lifts other people up and then reinforces their willingness to link arms with us in our common endeavors."
Pakistan, the sixth-largest nation in the world, is a geographically, economically and politically strategic country, and its long-term future matters to the future of the United States. Today, Pakistan is facing significant hurdles to it's progress and it is considered to be among the most unsafe regions in the world. The regionally-developed militancy is a threat to the schools in the Tribal areas. Pakistan, being a country of great potential to achieve progress and economic growth, could become a competitive economic partner to the U.S. and offer its population's alternatives to extremism.