* Outgoing American Consulate principal officer says visits to madrassas and orphanages etched in his memory
* Says consulate’s faculty members have imparted valuable services to Punjab University
LAHORE: Outgoing American Consulate Principal Officer Bryan D Hunt has said he was mesmerised by the grandeur of the historic city of Lahore and will miss the warmth, generosity and loving spirit of the people of Lahore in the days to come.
In an interview on Monday, Hunt, who served for three years as the principal officer, was a conspicuous presence at the social, cultural, minority and diplomatic gatherings in Lahore. He is known to the common people for his preference for the Pakistani national dress, shalwar kameez and waistcoat and his love for oriental cuisine.
Talking about Lahore, Hunt said, “Lahore is a vibrant city with a unique inheritance of culture and rich traditions. It has a long, distinguished history in archaeology. I’m deeply inspired by the artistic beauty of the pre-Mughal, Mughal, British and post-British periods in art and culture.”
Recalling the most moving moment during his stay in the city, he said, “Attending the completion ceremony of the restoration work on the Alamgiri Gate at the Lahore Fort was the most moving experience for me since it was a vital step towards the preservation of heritage. My visits to the children of madarassas and orphanages are etched in my memory. I see the future in these children.”
Hunt will assume the charge of Political Adviser to US Ambassador Anne Patterson in Islamabad.
“The people of Lahore are hospitable and I cherish the memory how they always welcomed me to their homes during my three years’ stay in the city,” he said.
Hunt said he was impressed by the inspired leadership of religious leaders in the province. He said he was pleased to see the Islamic denominations living in complete harmony with one another. He said charitable work was being undertaken under the dynamic leadership of the madrassas so that new leadership could be produced from all segments of society.
“I’ve learned the complexities of the Islamic faith which have helped me to understand Islam in a better way. There is urgent need to end the mutual mistrust that exists in American society and the Muslim world,” he said.
Hunt said a Resource Centre is working in the American Consulate in which well over 100 students are enrolled. He said the consulate faculty members have imparted valuable services to the Punjab University and other institutions.
He said the American Consulate has donated a large number of books to the Punjab University library and other libraries. He said education visa services have been restructured and are working more efficiently than before. app