I am taking this opportunity to welcome you our brand new Lahore Campus on behalf of the American International School System and to express the fact that this is a historic moment.
AISS embodies the American and Pakistani spirit at one of the most crucial times in the history of both our nations. I truly believe that education has the power to influence and shape future generations and consequently the world. We are now embarking on what will be a most challenging and rewarding experience. What we are doing has never been attempted in this region –a modern, state-of-the art facility designed to deliver a world-class education.
I welcome you and thank you in advance for your support of the children of Pakistan. AISS is committed to the global cause of building multi-national bridges across generations through education. Make no mistake: we have many challenges to face, but we will succeed because of the strength of our mission and the resolve of our teachers who understand that education is the great equalizer and liberator of all. We are building bridges between children, the children of America and the children of Pakistan. We are on a mission to close the gap and end the disparity between American children and those who are less fortunate educationally. Through this endeavor, we can bring a world-class system of education and build the true greatness of both our countries. We believe we can contribute to paving the way to a safer, more peaceful future for children all over the world, by bringing cultural understanding through education.
Without the support of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Chaudhry Pervez Elahi and the Ministry of Education we could not have accomplished our goal of building a world-class facility in 9 months. They are helping to make a difference. I commend them and the staff of AISS for accepting the challenge to serve the children of Pakistan and promise you boundless support and eternal friendship.
I must thank the Chief Minister Punjab and his unselfish help to the educational system. Initially, this high standard educational facility was supposed to be setup/established in New Delhi. After my trip to New Delhi I visited Pakistan and arrived at Lahore and discussed my trip to New Delhi and also my plans to setup a school there with the Chief Minister in a meeting. It was almost finalized but your Chief Minister convinced me and I decided to build this facility in Lahore, Pakistan. Buying the land here cost me more money than New Delhi but my love for Pakistan and convinced by Chief Minister and the government we overcame all hurdles. I worked very hard to build up this building and to provided every help that was needed to make this institution possible. This is a landmark between the two nations to built up a long-term relationship with the help of the children as it is believed that children can develop a long-term, healthy relationship. This idea was generated and strengthened by your Chief Minister. Your Chief Minister asked to setup a branch of AISS to help the Palestinian children, therefore, we decided to setup a school in Jordan to help the Palestinian refugee children.
We are partners with many prestigious universities and colleges in the United States. One of the most prestigious university in my country called the George Washington university established by the founder of my great nation is affiliated with AISS.
Mr. Chief Minister, I thank you for all your help and support to make this project possible. The construction for AISS provided economic opportunity to more than 300 people who worked real hard to complete this project in the record period of nine months. I must thank Mr. Mohammad Ali Naqvi, our VP Operations, for his sincere efforts and hard work, Miss Lisa Rizvi, our Director of Resources and Mr. Saleem Kiani, Director Admin who remained consistent. I also, thank Seema Development, USA. This is their first project outside USA. They did a great job by completing this project in record time. I extend my thanks to security guards, teachers, teachers aid, admin staff, housing keeping staff, gardeners, our architect and his team and everyone who is a part of AISS. Last but not the least, my good friend, Mr. Ahsan Baig who is our Honorary Chairman and has just returned after a successful bypass operation that happened in George Washington University. We wish him a speedy recovery. He’s here today with us.
I am pleased to thank Khateeb of Badshahi Mosque, Arch Bishop of Lahore and all the diplomats for gracing the occasion. I want to thank the ambassador Croquer and the Council General, Brain Hyeth and our current Ambassador, Annie Patrison. Their support cannot be ignored. I thank all the staff of the US Constellate.
Special thanks to my wife and children who have been with me through all the hardships. Unfortunately, there not here today as the children had to attend their school and college.
Thank you everybody for supporting us by your presence here on a Sunday morning. God bless you all and our two Nations.
Dr. Munr Kazmir, President and Chief Executive of AISS, Dr James F. Bonnell, Director of School, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I am deeply honored to have been invited to the inauguration ceremony of the Lahore campus of American International School System. It is indeed a proud moment for me to be part of the project which will surely add great value to elementary education in Punjab. Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Bonnell referred to Punjab’s vision of economic and social judgment, in his speech he spoke of the efforts of my government to improve the social environment by promoting education in the province. It is my belief that Punjab’s progress revolves around our human resource development in which the education sector must remain the center piece of public policy. May I add that in my vision, I see Punjab developing as a tolerant in a moderate society, this may appear to be a huge challenge given the current state of global politics, however, we must live in hope and continue to work for our ideas. I believe that education based on tolerance, moderation and the pursuit of excellence would be a major bonding block between the peoples of the world. To me AISS is one step forward in creating such human bonding. I am deeply touched at the gestures of the parents which choose to send their 3 year old child to the Lahore campus of AISS. Ladies and gentlemen it is this courage which will help the world in combating extremism and world to world the creation of a harmonious world. I am also happy to note that AISS plans to open its branches in four other countries, as it turns out, countries two of these are predominantly Muslim countries. It is a joined challenge of enlightened people to bring the diverse cultures and religions together so that the world of tomorrow becomes the world of peace; I therefore congratulate AISS on their missionary spirit. Dear guests, we are aware that creating public – private partnerships is an important milestone in my view of governance. We all know of times when government would keep the private sector at an arms length, to me this attitude was unacceptable given the potential of the private sector to partner with the government in progress and development. Ladies and gentlemen, I may add that our approach in this respect is holistic. We have created a partnership with the private sector in the development of industrial zones and the delivery of education and health services and the development of the services sector and in attracting foreign direct investment. The point is that there is no avenue in which my government is not willing to partner with the private sector. To fulfill our joint mission of development, therefore supporting AISS, was just a natural step for my government. As I stand in your midst today I pledge to continue my support to AISS in my official and personal capacity. Ladies and gentlemen allow me to appreciate the hard work put in by all of you to make AISS Lahore campus a reality in a very short period of time, my appreciation to the parents who had the vision to send their children to AISS. We can now look towards the teachers of AISS to educate and groom our children to face the future as natural leaders in their respective fields. May the Lord continue to shower his blessings on all of us; ladies and gentlemen I thank you.