Pakistani Student refuses Harvard scholarship in protest

Islamabad, June 19, 2008: A Pakistani student, Samad Khurram, refused his Harvard University scholarship award presented to him by the US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson.

The student refused the award during a function organised by the Roots College International at the National Art Gallery on Wednesday in protest against the recently carried out American attacks on Mohmand Agency.

The US ambassador regretted these attacks, terming them a "terrible misunderstanding", and refuted the notion that the student was refusing the award, maintaining that currently there were 5,400 Pakistani students studying in America.

The entire hall resounded with thunderous clapping for the student, who was later on restricted by the management from talking to any mediaperson.

In her speech the US ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, underscored the need for "people to people ties" to strengthen the relationship between Pakistan and the US.

"There is a myth that American universities are hesitant to accept students from Pakistan," Ms Patterson told graduates of the Roots School System who received private scholarships to study in the United States and other countries. "All together, 5,400 students from Pakistan studied at US colleges and universities last year," she added.

Congratulating the management of the Roots School System for "twenty years of outstanding service in educating young people in Pakistan," the ambassador said she was impressed with Roots students who earned full scholarships to study at selected universities such as Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dartmouth.

"With your educational opportunities, you are the natural future leaders in whatever profession you may choose," Ms Patterson told the students. She urged them to "focus not only on getting top grades but also on broadening your vision and finding how you can best serve society after you obtain your degree". -Online

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