US offers 125 scholarships for Pakistani journalists

WASHINGTON: The United States will provide 125 scholarships to Pakistani journalists during 2011 as part of public diplomacy and capacity building cooperation, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said after leading discussions with senior American officials on public diplomacy.The scholarships will be extended to jouranlists both in the private and public sectors, officials said as Pakistan and the United States began their three-day Strategic Dialogue.
Besides, the United States will also offer training to 80 public administrators to help build capacity of Pakistani officers.The training will be offered to information officers from the Ministry of Information and Braodcasting, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and media affiliated public organizations, officials said.Kaira was assisted by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United states Husain Haqqani, Federal Information Secretary Mansur Sohail and Information Technology Secretary Naguibullah Malik.Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Judith Michale led the U.S.  side, which also included new US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter.Kaira told journalists at a briefing that working group on public diplomacy focused on  cooperation in capacity building, infrastructure development and use of new communication technology.  In the Information Technology sector, Karia said the two sides also discussed the project of a ten million dollar national data center for e -governance to improve transparency and efficiency and facilitate public access to information and news. The project is likely to be completed within a year.
The Minister said it was decided that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Information Technology will cooperate to improve infomation system of National Disaster Management Authority.  Kaira said a pilot project of citizen services center will be completed within a few months in Islamabad to help step up the pace of data processing for services like issuance of domicile or drivers license for common man.
The Informatioin Minister also shared a working paper on public outreach project to counter the climate of extremism and terrorism. The project will be finalized in next few months.The Pakistani side also discussed the project of further expanding transmission of Radio Pakistan to different parts of the country including instaallation of FM and MW transmission in the Sindh province and a a radio transmitor in Gwadar Balochistan.
Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Agriculture Minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal ed the Pakistani temas in other working groups in talks with American officials – App