Issuu on Google+


04


05


CONTENTS

17 22 28 32 35 58 74 86 92

09

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani

New Chief Justice of Pakistan Mauritius’s Deputy PM visited Pakistan The art of Cigar Rolling Lithuanian Presidency at EU celebrated in Pakistan

14

Qatar National Day celebrated OIC Youth Parliament Model Session at IIUI 43rd National Day of Sultanate of Oman commemorated National Day of Romania celebrated

12

64

72

66

42nd National Day of UAE

102

Algeria marks 59th anniversary of Armed Struggle Day


Diplomatic Affairs Chief Editor

Editor’s Note irst of all, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations and gratitude to all our readers and the whole nation to have New Year in our lives. Despite of all distress and gloom, the previous year left, I pray, this New Year would bring lot of happiness, joys, prosperity and success in your lives. I also pray that all your dreams and wishes would come true in this New Year. I would also like to pay my gratitude to Mr. Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary on his appointment as Foreign Secretary and Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani for assuming charge as Pakistan’s Ambassador to US recently. I wish them for their innumerable success in their whole lives. The year of 2013 had passed now, packed with many events and crunchy news stories; we can see and read simply around us. Among all, a couple of events, in the last month of 2013 remain dominant on both international and national media such as Pakistan has achieved GSP Plus status by EU, and wins UN Drone Attacks resolution against the United States of America in General Assembly. These winning streaks, I think, are seems to be congratulatory messages for the whole Pakistani nation. I hope these steps would help to reduce the menace of terrorism, poverty and economic recession from Pakistan within coming few days. Similarly, the appointment of new Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif and Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani would prove a milestone in coming days in Pakistan. In this edition, we are presenting special reports of some of the National Day celebrations, held recently such as National Day of United Arab Emirates, Romania, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Belgium King’s Day, 43rd National Day of Oman, 70th Independence Anniver-

F

sary of Lebanon, 86th Birthday of the King of Thailand, 30th Anniversary of proclamation of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 59th Anniversary of Algerian Armed Struggle Day, Italian Armed Forces Day, Poland’s Independence Day, Japan’s Emperor Birthday and 50th Independence Anniversary of Kenya. We feel honor as Mrs. Rehana Saeed has shared her views for Diplomatic Affairs. In this edition, you will find an interview of Mrs. Rehana Saeed, a prominent Pakistani expatriate, and Chairperson of NOA Academy Tripoli-Libya, her personal life and ventures in the field of education, conducted by Diplomatic Affairs exclusively. You would also enjoy another interview of Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh who shared his vision, thoughts and success stories of his business exclusively for Diplomatic Affairs. A special report on OIC Youth Parliament Model Session, held at International Islamic University Faisal Mosque campus, jointly organized by Diplomatic Affairs and the department of Political Science and International Relations IIUI is presented in this edition. OIC Youth Parliament Model Session was an interactive session, presented by the students of International Islamic University. The session brought fruitful discussions and suggestions of how OIC can play its effective role to address the contemporary issues of Muslim world. As per routine, our readers would enjoy other news stories, features, special reports and articles regarding current and hot topics and happenings around the world in this edition. Once again, I wish you all very happy New Year of 2014 and pray that may this year brings happiness and joys in your lives. Keep enjoying your reading. Thanks……

Abubakar Siddique Chief Editor

Abubakar Siddique

Managing Editor Executive Editors

Anas Tahir Muhammad Tayyab Shafiq ur Rehman News Editor Aslam mumtaz corporate manager bina harri Chief Photographer Sheikh M. Arif Waqas Ahmed Siddiqui Art and design Sarfraz Ahmed Production Habib ur Rehman Circulation Mehwish Tariq Marketing Siddiq-ul-ghafar Junaid Yousif Dr. Muhammad Usman Legal Advisors: Tariq Mehmood Naqvi Editorial Board: Pakistan: Muahmmad Ali Durrani Col ® Muhammad Farooq USA: Asif Mehmood Canada: Humaira Naz Saudi Arabia: Jamal Banoon UAE: Shehzad Zakriya China: Lio Cha UK: Dr. Khurshid Ahmed Egypt: Khadikha Arafa Bureau Chiefs: Lahore: Rana Asif Karachi: Zoya ali Faisalabad: Muneer Ahmed Sialkot: Muhammad Adil Gujranwala: Tanveer Ahmed Multan: Syed Tariq Mashahdi Peshawar: Sarmad Khan Quetta: Nwab Aftab Ahmed Muzaffarabd: Maria Farooq

Subscription of Monthly Magazine Copies: Inland Overseas Single copy: Rs. 400 $. 10 Six months: Rs. 2400 $. 60 One Year: Rs. 4800 $. 120

Head office House no: 20, Street 29 Sector F-8/1, Islamabad – Pakistan Ph: 051-2855020 Fax: 051-2280889 Mob: 0334-5149405 E-Mail: info@diplomaticaffairs.net Chief Editor/ Publisher, Abubakar Siddique published at Islamabad


Guards Armed/Un-Armed,Escort Services,Personal Protection CCTV,Walkthrough gates,X-ray Machines Night Vision,Road blocker,B ollards,Spikes,Barriers Remote Control Gates, Under vehicle Screening System Access Control,Buglar & Fire Alarms etc. Head office:12,First Floor,Block 66-E,Mujahid Plaza,Blue Area,Islamabad. 051-2278336, 2803003-4, Fax:051-2276724, Mobile:0300-8549849, 0345-8549849 www.dgmsecurity.com, info@dgmsecurity.com, dgmsecurity@gmail.com


High-level talks on bilateral issues:

HRH Prince

SaudvisitaltoFaisal Pakistan Muhammad Tayyab

A milestone in Pak-Saudi relations

n Prince Saud regrets over Musharraf exit deal n PM urged to bond further bilateral relations n PM conveyed good wishes for the long life of King Abdullah n Cooperation on energy, Infrastructure, Agriculture and investment recommended

H

is Highness Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Saud al Faisal has visited Pakistan as part of his two-day official trip to hold talks with the Pakistani leadership on key bilateral, regional and international issues. This is the first visit by any top Saudi official to Pakistan since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power in June last year following his party’s thumping win in the parliamentary polls. Prince Saud al-Faisal was accorded a warm welcome on his arrival at the Noor Khan Airbase by Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer and other high ranking offi-

cials from the Foreign Office. The Saudi foreign minister visited Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who invited him during a meeting on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly session in New York in September last year. The Foreign Minister, during this visit dis-

cussed on bilateral relations and to further expanding Pak-Saudi ties and enhancing cooperation in various fields. Besides bilateral matters, Saudi Foreign Minister also discussed Afghanistan and regional situation including post-foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.

09


His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan underscored the importance of the visit. Both countries are working to intensify their efforts to solve the issues of the Muslim Ummah. They will also discuss the latest developments in the region and around the world. “Saudi-Pakistan relations go back to 1947 when Pakistan won its independence. These relations are as strong as ever,” Al-Ghadeer said.

Meeting with President Mamnoon Hussain

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal called on President Mamnoon Hussain and discussed bilateral relations and regional situation. They discussed prospects for promoting cooperation between the two countries at the separate meetings. During this meeting Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal also conveys Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s regards to him. During the meeting, President Mamnoon Hussain urged further expansion of bilateral ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in various fields, with particular focus on trade, investment, infrastructure, dams and power sector. The president also invited Saudi investors and businessmen to invest in Pakistan. He stated that the government of Pakistan was keen to further deepen the strategic partnership and bilateral cooperation in diverse fields to the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries. The president, while noting the presence of a large 1.5 million Pakistani diaspora in Saudi Arabia, remarked that they serve as a bridge of

10

friendship between the two countries.

Meeting with PM Nawaz Sharif

Talking to Saudi Foreign Minister H.H Prince Saud al Faisal in a meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the government is ready to give incentives to Saudi investors. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has emphasized the need for starting a new era of strategic relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to broaden and deepen the existing cordial relations. The Prime Minister said that the two countries have always stood by each other in testing times and the people of Pakistan deeply value relations with Saudi Arabia. He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia need to enhance bilateral trade to reflect the strong fraternal bonds that exist between the two countries by regular meetings between the Commerce Ministers to explore ways of enhancing bilateral trade. Discussing the energy situation in the country‚ the Prime Minister said Pakistan would welcome investment by Saudi Arabia in Energy Sector especially‚ and other sectors like

Infrastructure‚ Agriculture and Livestock. He said the government wants to enhance economic and business ties with the Kingdom and Pakistan is ready to give special incentives to businessmen. About the Afghan situation‚ Nawaz Sharif re-affirmed that Pakistan remains committed to facilitating Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process adding that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest. He said Pakistan supports all efforts aimed at strengthening unity among the Islamic countries. The Prime Minister thanked the Saudi Government for extending help to Pakistani workers who were affected by the recent labor laws enacted in the Kingdom. He said the large Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia is a human bridge between the two brotherly countries who would continue to play a vital role in the development of Saudi Arabia. Nawaz Sharif also conveyed good wishes for the good health and long life of King Abdullah‚ the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Advisors on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz‚ Tariq Fatimi‚ Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Finance


Minister Ishaq Dar were also present.

Talks with Sartaj Aziz Meanwhile‚ Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal and Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz have begun formal talks. The two sides discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations in diverse fields.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan greeted Saudi FM

Welcoming Prince Saud’s visit to Pakistan, Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy unique brotherly relations which are rooted deep in history. He said, “Our special ties have grown with the passage of time and the government of PML (N) under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif is keen to take it to new heights.” Chaudhry Nisar said Saudi Arabia has always supported Pakistan and our government and people hold the Saudi leadership, the entire Royal family and the people of the country in very high esteem. He said high profile visits between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia should be reinvigorated to the previous level. In recent years, both countries have exchanged high-level delegations and developed plans to expand bilateral cooperation in trade, education, real estate, tourism, information technology, communications and agriculture. Saudi Arabia is aiding the development of

trade relations with Pakistan through the Gulf Cooperation Council, with which Pakistan is negotiating a free trade agreement.

Foreign Office stance over the visit

Foreign Office termed this visit as a normal interaction. Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said that the visit is a normal interaction between the two brotherly countries. She said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy a very close relationship and it is the first high level visit from Saudi Arabia after induction of the new government. Pakistan is working on a policy to further strengthen its relations with Islamic countries and the visit of Saudi Foreign Minister is part of this policy, she added.

Speculations over Musharraf’s trial

Besides all speculations in media, about the possible role of the Saudis in seeking a ‘safe passage’ for former military ruler General (R) Pervez Musharraf, the government, however, strongly dismissed such reports claiming that his visit was planned much ahead of the developments related to Musharraf. During a press conference, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal stated that I have not come here for any sort of deal with regards to the former president General (R) Pervez Musharraf. Prince Faisal also said that he has come to

Pakistan with a message of friendship and a message of cooperation, adding that he has not come to the country with any sort of mission. “Saudi Arabia will not interfere in Pakistan’s internal affairs,” the Saudi foreign minister remarked. He further said that the two countries have old and brotherly relationships and will continue to do so in both good and bad times. According to Muhammad Naeem Khan, Pakistan Ambassador to the Kingdom, Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal’s visit has nothing to do with the trial of ex-president Pervez Musharraf, “The visit was rescheduled last September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings when Prince Saud met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The prime minister invited Prince Saud to visit Pakistan,” Naeem Khan told Okaz/Saudi Gazette. This is a visit to enhance bilateral relations in political, economic, and business fields. It will cement Islamic solidarity and push bilateral relations further. He noted that Musharraf ’s trial is strictly a domestic affair and will be treated as such and according to domestic laws and norms. Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam Khan said the news reports that linked Prince Saud Al-Faisal’s visit to Musharraf ’s trial are baseless and do not have a shred of truth.

11


15th COAS

Gen. Raheel Sharif A leader with the history of sacrifices

T

he Prime Minister of Pakistan has approved the appointment of Gen. Raheel Sharif as Chief of Army Staff, the most powerful institution of Pakistan. General Raheel Sharif formally took over charge in a ceremony where Military chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani handed over the command of the army to Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif. He passed the baton of command to Gen Sharif at a ceremony held in the Army Hockey Stadium, close to the General Headquarters (GHQ). The change of command

12

ceremony was attended by federal ministers, services chiefs, diplomats and senior serving and retired officers. Prime Minister N aw a z Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain greeted new Army C h i e f .


They also felicitated Gen Raheel on assuming the office of Army Chief and hoped that Pakistan Army will further improve its image across the world. Sharif, a veteran infantry commander, was little known outside military circles before his promotion to army chief, but analysts say he is a dedicated soldier with little interest in politics. Just prior to his appointment, Gen Sharif was serving as Inspector General Training and Evaluation with the rank of a Lt. General. Born in Quetta on June 16, 1956 to Major and Mrs Muhammad Sharif, Raheel Sharif grew up steeped in the military tradition. Sharif ’s elder brother, Shabbir Sharif, was a course-mate of General (R) Pervez Musharraf, and was martyred during the 1971 war with India and was awarded the Nishan-i-Haider, Pakistan’s highest military award. Gen Raheel attained his formal education at Government College Lahore and later went on to attend the Pakistan Military Academy. After graduation, he was commissioned in 1976 in the battle hardened and renowned 6th

battalion The Frontier Force Regiment in which his elder brother was also commissioned. As a young officer, he performed his duties in Gilgit in an infantry brigade and also served as adjutant of Pakistan Military Academy. Over the years, Sharif climbed up the military ladder mentored by Musharraf who handed him command of the 11th Infantry Division in Lahore. As a brigadier, he has commanded two infantry brigades including an independent infantry brigade group. He has been the General Officer Commanding of an infantry division and the Commandant of the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy. As a Lieutenant General, Sharif served as Corps Commander for two years before taking over as Inspector General Training and Evaluation in which capacity he oversaw the training of Pakistan Army. He was also awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian award and honor that is given to both civilians and military officers of the Pakistan armed forces. He is married with two sons and a daughter. As the challenging corridors are ahead it is expected that the new chief will do his best to curb terrorism from the country and will work to enhance and promote good will of Pakistan at international level. — DA REPORT

13


Pak-Turk bilateral relations:

A new chapter embarks on the arrival of Turkish PM n Erdogan, Nawaz vow to work for joint ventures n Investment in energy, transport, communication, textile, agri and oil sectors n Ink three MoUs

T

he Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyab Erdogan accompanied by a delegation which comprises of several ministers, businessmen and entrepreneurs has recently visited Pakistan as part of his two days official tour where he met with his counterpart Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and other key government officials. The Turkish premier Recip Tayyab Erdogan was received by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Benazir International Airport in Lahore. The members of the provincial cabinet and senior civil officers were also present on the occasion. After arrival, the Turkish Prime Minister was accorded a 21-cannon salute while a beautiful display of fireworks was also held to welcome the guests. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has hosted a gala dinner in honor of his counterpart. A grand cultural show at historical Atchison College was arranged in the honor of the Turk-

14

ASLAM MUMTAZ

ish Premier on his arrival. Rose petals were scattered on the roads which the prime minister was set to travel through, and ErdoÄ&#x;an was welcomed with dances and music in the biggest welcoming ceremony held in Lahore. ErdoÄ&#x;an was presented a guard of honor by a traditionally-clad contingent of the paramilitary Rangers force. The Grand Cultural Show was organized in honor of ErdoÄ&#x;an, who showed interest in the ornaments and inquired about historic and cultural details.

Pak-Turk Business Forum

During this visit, Pak-Turk Business Forum was also held where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed and expressed views to further strengthen the bilateral, cultural, political and economic relations. They stressed the need that both sides should work for joint ventures and investment in diversified sectors of economy including energy, transport, communication, infrastructure, textile, automobile, agriculture, industry, food processing, dairy development, information technology and oil and gas among others.


Vote of thanks and address on Pak-Turk Business Forum In his address at Pak-Turk Business Forum, PM Erdogan thanked PM Sharif and the Pakistani nation for according them a very warm welcome. He said that he felt Lahore as his second home, adding that Pakistanis and Turkish people were enjoying historic brotherly relations and “I am proud of this relationship.” The Turkish premier also paid rich tributes to present political and democratic government for taking Pak-Turk relations to a new era.

Economic Ties While addressing to Pak-Turk Business Forum he said, “We have made commitment to

Sharif has invited Turkish businessmen to invest in energy‚ agriculture‚ textile tourism and infrastructure building sectors in Pakistan. While addressing Pak-Turk Business Forum‚ he said his Government would ensure full protection and support to the Turkish investment. The Prime Minister asked Turkish entrepreneurs to explore the possibility of investment in the energy sector in Pakistan which has wide-ranging potential in thermal‚ hydel and alternative sources. He said Pakistan has also embarked upon an ambitious program of infrastructure development and Turkish cooperation would be welcome. He said the program includes construction of motorways‚ highways‚ airports‚ theme parts and Economic Corridor linking Pakistan and China. The Prime Minister noted that Turkish businessmen have expressed their desire to invest in Diamer-Bhasha and Bunji dams‚ Lafurther enhance the bilateral trade and economic relations during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ’s recent visit to Istanbul and our current visit is also part of that,” he maintained. PM Erdogan said that he had brought along representatives of 39 Turkish companies as well as huge trade delegation and added that they came to Pakistan to explore investment opportunities here. He mentioned that current trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey hovers around $83 million, which did not manifest the actual trade potential, existed between the two countries.

Inviting Turk Businessmen for investments On the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz

hore-Karachi motorway and Gaddani Power Park. He said Board of Investment of Pakistan is also working with Pak-Turkey Business council in promoting cooperation in textile‚ automobile and communication sectors. He said there is vast potential in tourism development in Pakistan and Turkish firms can join their Pakistani counterparts for the purpose. Pakistan is a strong and resilient

15


nation of 180 million people. With a broad agricultural base, diverse manufacturing and booming services sectors, Pakistan is endowed with a wealth of human and material resources. “Our geographical location at the cross-roads of West, South and Central Asia, places Pakistan at the hub of major energy and transportation corridors,” he said.

Incentives for foreign investors Mian Nawaz Sharif also recounted the incentives that Pakistan offers to foreign investors including repatriation of the capital‚ profit‚ and tax breaks‚ concessions in custom duties and special economic zones where one window facility is offered. The Prime Minister said economic prosperity of people remains the top priority of the present government. He said our economic framework is based on sound macro-economic policies and accelerated economic growth; alleviate poverty and creating new jobs.

Energy Projects

The PM said with 75 billion tons of coal reserve in Pakistan, one of the largest in the world, it is but natural that coal-fired power projects are forming an increasingly important component of our energy matrix. The 6600 Megawatt Gadani Power Park is another important initiative in this respect. Likewise, increasing attention is being placed on the hydel, nuclear, wind and solar energy sectors. “From large projects of over 5000 MW to small and medium sized projects, the opportunities for investment is wide-ranging. I am happy to note that the wind energy sector already provides concrete and tangible evidence of cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey. He said Pakistan ranks among top ten producers of the world for at least 25 agricultural commodities and the agro-based industry including food processing. Pakistan is also amongst the top Milk producers in the world with immense potential for a productivity improvement. Turkish agro companies with their expertise in food processing technology would find this sector very attractive for value addition and conver-

sion of this “white gold” into cheese, butter and dry milk products. Similarly, the opportunities in the export of high quality citrus and mangoes is unmatched and Turkish firms may consider corporate farming to boost the productivity in this sector.

Meets with CM Punjab During meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyab Erdogan, Shahbaz Sharif said that the Pak-Turk friendship had entered into a new phase and the Punjab government warmly welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyab Erdogan on his visit to the provincial capital. The brotherly Islamic country had supported Pakistan in every hour of hardship, adding that financial and technical cooperation of Turkey in metro bus service, solid waste management and other sectors was commendable, which would further strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations. He said that Pakistan had centuries-old social, political, religious and trade ties with the Turkish people and added that the visit of Turkish Prime Minister to Pakistan would further fortify these ties.

Accords and MoUs On this occasion, both the sides also inked three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Punjab Industrial Department and Turkey Cooperation Agency; Pakistan Railways and Turkish Logistics Organization; Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and Turkish Standard Institution.

Horse gift to PM Erdogan Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, presented a horse to Erdoğan as a gift during his visit.

16


Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani

New Chief Justice of Pakistan

J

ustice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was sworn in as the Chief Justice of Pakistan after Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry’s retirement following eight-year tenure. The appointment was approved by the President Mamnoon Hussain after receiving Jillani’s recommendation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The oath-taking ceremony was held at the Presidency. Jillani has been a Supreme Court judge since 2004 and like Chaudhry was sacked when former military dictator Musharraf imposed emergency rule in November 2007. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was born on July, 6, 1949 in Multan. He obtained his Masters in Political Science from Forman Christian College, Lahore, L.L.B. from the University of Punjab Lahore and a course in Constitutional Law from the University of London in the Institute of Advance Legal Studies. He started practice at District Courts Multan in 1974; enrolled as an Advocate of the High Court in 1976; elected as General Secretary District Bar Association Multan in 1976; elected Member Punjab Bar Council in 1978; appointed as Assistant Advocate General Punjab in July, 1979; enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court in 1983; promoted as Additional Advocate General Punjab in 1988; appointed as Advocate General Punjab in 1993. He took oath as a Judge of Lahore High Court on August 7, 1994 and was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on 31st July, 2004 where he served till the imposition of the state of

Emergency on the 3rd of November, 2007. As he refused to take fresh oath, he was made dysfunctional as a Judge of the Supreme Court. After the restoration of democracy and elected Government in Pakistan, he joined as Judge of the Supreme Court in September, 2009 and now he is serving as Chief Justice of Pakistan. Justice Jillani prevented the court from interfering in the executive’s domain. He rendered a judgment on the issue of irregularities in the allocation of Hajj quotas, saying that it is the mandate of the executive to decide such issues while ensuring transparency. “If the courts fail to maintain this delicate balance, none else but people’s confidence in the judiciary would be the worst victim,” Justice Jillani wrote in a recent ruling. Known to be soft-spoken and cool-tempered, Justice Jillani also played a significant role in a case against former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani. Haqqani’s counsel Asma Jehangir was at loggerheads with the Justice Chaudhryled bench for what she said were “biased” findings of the judicial commission. It was Justice Jillani’s intervention, however, that moderated flared tempers on both sides and averted a decision against the former ambassador. Citing professional ethics as a reason, Justice Jillani refused himself from the contempt of court case against former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani due to their familial ties. His verdict regarding criteria for the establishment of private medical colleges is considered a land-

mark judgment. Known to be an avid enthusiast of poetry, antiques and film, Justice Jillani has been described by the World Justice Project as a liberal, independent and balanced judge. In July 2008, when Justice Jillani was invited by the American Bar Association to receive the Rule of Law Award on behalf of those judges of Pakistan who demonstrated courage in upholding the Rule of Law in the country, he wrote: “In Pakistan, if one were to distinguish a headline from a trend line in assessing change, the recent events are a pointer to a moral renaissance and augur well for the spiritual health of the nation. Never before has so much been sacrificed by so many for the supremacy of law and justice.” After appointment, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani has delivered his welcome address to the Supreme Court staff in which he said that it is a matter of pleasure that staff and officers are performing their duties with devotion, commitment, dedication and with honesty inasmuch as not a single complaint about corruption/corrupt practices has been received about any one of them for which they deserve appreciation and commendation. He further added that the institution with which they are associated, being the apex Court of the country and final arbiter of law is a dignified institution. The judgments of Supreme Court are final and are binding on all other courts. — DA REPORT

17


Neelum javed

IIUI holds International Women Conference n Delegations from 30 countries participated in the conference n Empowering women in Muslim societies urged n Emerging role of women in challenges commended

A

two day Islamic Women Conference on “Emerging Role of Women in Muslim Societies: Opportunities and Challenges.” was held at Jinnah Auditorium, Faisal Mosque IIUI campus in Islamabad. The conference was a culmination of joint efforts of the Iqbal International Institute of Research and Dialogue, International Islamic University, Riphah International University and International Muslim Women Union. The conference brings nearly 55 delegations from 30 countries together in which renowned experts, academicians and women scholars and panelists participated and delivered their key note thoughts. The purpose of the conference was to discuss

18

knowledge based sociological challenges driven by globalization, how to make the best use of the education and economic opportunities available to women, what can their contribution towards their society without endangering the sacred institution of the family. The theme of the first day of the conference was dedicated to Women Empowerment, whereas Fatima Jinnah Women University Vice Chancellor Dr Samina Qadir was the chief guest and Muzna Yousif al Draiweesh was the guest of honor. During the first session, various foreign experts and workers delivered lectures on topics like hijab, gender politics and religion, women education, fictional representation of Pakistani women, struggle for empowerment, electoral gender quotas, and

women leadership. During second session of the day one of the conference, Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of state for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination was invited as the chief guest while founding member International Muslim Women Union, Sudan Dr. Saud Al Fateh Al Badawi was the guest of honor. The session was chaired by Khalid Rahman, Director General Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. Topics regarding role of Muslim women at national and international level, gender politics, and media’s exploitation of the global Muslim community were discussed on the occasion. Islamic Philosophy Professor from Sudan Dr Zakria Bashir, Russian journalist Liudmila Mishna, scholar from Hungary Asli Karaca, Kashmir


Women Forum Chairperson Shamim Shawl, Member National Assembly of Pakistan Shahida Akhtar, Prof Rufaida al Habash from al Indluse Institute of Islamic Studies, Syria, Jawairiyah Faisal Khan from the United Kingdom, IIUI Dawah Centre For Women In-charge Shagufta Umar and women activist from Turkey Huda Kaya have presented their papers on the subject during the conference. The themes of the second day of the conference include “Educational Opportunities and Preferences”. Wife of the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan H.H. Johra Abdullah al–Areefi was invited as a Chief Guest, Dr. Samia Raheel Qazi, President Asian Region International Muslim Women Union was a guest of honor. The session was chaired by Dr. Ameena Nasir, President Asian Region International Muslim Women Union. During the second session of the 2nd day of the conference, Former Federal Secretary of Women Development, Ex Vice President IIUI Parween Qadir Agha were the chief guests, Ms. Asia Nasir, member National Assembly of Pakistan invited as a guest of honor and this session chaired by Dr. Mazahir Mohammad Ahmed Osman, Secretary General International Muslim Women Union, Sudan. M Safdar and Dr. Nabi Bux Jumani, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, IIUI, Dargam Nadia, Algeria, Dr. Kouser Firdous, Chairperson, International Muslim Women Unioon, Dr. Nabeelah Lubis, Former Chief Council of Muslim women Scholars MAAI, Dr. Tahira Amjad, Associate Prof. Foundation University, Rawalpindi, Bilal Mahmood, Co Author Sama Ahmad Dept. Of Economics, Govt. College University, Lahore, Nargis Zaidi, Journalist, Islamabad, Pakistan, Dr. Anwar Ali Shah, Yasmin Khakwani, Al Huda International Welfare, Paki-

encouraged women’s participation to taken up the challenges. In his address, Vice Chancellor, Riphah International University, Dr. Anis Ahmed gave his enlightening thoughts on the alarmingly diminished role of women in the Muslim societies which is directly affected the social growth. Dr. Kausar Firdaus, Chairperson International Muslim Women Union, pronounced that Muslim societies have to think globally and act locally. She also explained the cultural transformation that has increased role of women in Muslim societies to meet the challenges. Senator Raja Zafar ul Haq, Secretary General World Muslim Congress, on the occasion felt the need to investigate the disturbing allegations of exploitation of the female gender in the Muslim society and combat the western propaganda.

stan, Asma Mushtaq, Research Associate Women Aid Trust, Dr. Shahnaz Kouser, Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, Samina Najeeb Ph.D Scholar National University of Modern Language also presented their papers in second day session. Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad, Vice President (Academics) and Executive Director Iqbal Institute of Research & Dialogue, IIUI has delivered the welcome address. While delivering his thoughts to the participants, he highlighted major challenges of the Muslim societies in the contemporary times and

Dr. Saud Al – Fateh Al Badawi, Founding Mother International Women Union, Sudan, inspired the participants with her passion despite being in her 80’s. She said that the golden Islamic rules were overlooked by Muslim societies and Muslims remained more to talk then to walk any extra miles. Participants asserted strong commitment and faith in Islam as a complete code of life which gives us guidance in all aspects of life including women issues. They called upon Muslim governments for establishing women and family development

ministries instead of only women development ministries and also stressed upon them to limit the dominance of western paradigm while saying it contradictory to Islamic values. In conference the participants also called upon academia of Muslim countries to develop and implement compulsory family focused curriculum and recommended to come forward to abolish all of local discriminatory customs and traditions against women. Barrister Zafarullah khan, as speaking on the occasion said there is no gender discrimination in Islamic paradigm and supported the recommendations of the conference. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai’s speech was inspiring for the participants in which he announced that IIUI was give consideration to establishing a medical women collage for making the Pakistan women empowered. Dr. Hassan Muhammad Khan, in his remarks urged for establishing societies which should recognize the role of women. Whereas Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed, in his speech at concluding session said IIUI is an equal opportunity provider and provides a milieu of interfaith harmony while opposing the sectarianism and gender discrimination. Dr Kouser Firdaus, who presented the recommendations, said they called upon government to legislate flexible working hours for women with provision of day-care, ensure three-month maternity leave and allow them to compete for government jobs till the age of 40. She admired the efforts of the delegates to ensure the success of the conference. The concluding session was presided over by Rector IIUI Dr. Masoom Yasinzai while Secretary Law and Justice Barrister Zafarullah Khan was the chief guest.

19


O

Joseph and Nayla converted Christmas into interfaith event

n 25th of December, each year, the Christian community around the world celebrates Christmas Day, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. In Pakistan, the Christmas Day was celebrated with same religious zeal by the Christian community. Besides exchanges of best wishes and gifts among each other, the main ritual of the Christmas celebration is decoration of Christmas tree at home and churches to welcome the arrival of Santa Claus also known as Father Christmas. Joseph along with Ms. Nayla J Dayal who is a symbol of Interfaith Harmony, Chairperson of Christian Progressive Movement and Patron in Chief of Missal Foundation have hosted a grand festivity at her residence in Islamabad to welcome and celebrate festive season of Christmas by following her religious obligations. The event was well attended by both Christians and Muslims. She welcomed all the participants and guests on the occasion. A giant Christmas tree was decorated by the kids of Ms. Nayla J Dayal along with their friends and colleagues with beautiful flowers and lights. The cake was also cut to formally welcome the arrival of the birth of Jesus Christ. The event was covered by mainstream elec-

20

tronic media especially prime English news channel of Pakistan, PTV World. His Excellency Mr. Tomwit Jarnson, Ambassador of Thailand to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was the chief guest of the occasion, while the wife of Bulgarian Ambassador to Pakistan H.E. Roumen Pironcthev was the guest of honor. Chief Guest, belongs to Buddhist religion, graced the event by participating in cake cutting ceremony to promote the interfaith harmony. Speaking at the reception, His Excellency termed this event as a tremendous move that enables to bring people together from different backgrounds irrespective of fait and ethnicity.

On the occasion, His Excellency Mr. Tomwit Jarnson said, at this time of Christmas, we celebrate the greatest gift of all, the birth of Jesus Christ. Throughout this special season of peace and goodwill, we are reminded of this gift as well as the love of family and friends and the promise of hope for the future. He also appreciated efforts made by Ms. Nayla J Dayal in the promotion of Interfaith Harmony. The ambassador also appreciated the efforts made by Joseph and Nayla in bringing peace and promoting interfaith harmony among all communities including Muslims and Christians. While referring of the teachings of great Buddha to transmit peace and love, he said all


bINA hARRI

the religions preach the lessons of peace and love. We want peace and co-existence among different religions throughout the world irrespective of cast and creed, he added. Ms. Nayla J Dayal is a prominent courageous figure who works for people’s rights. She has an iconic personality among all human rights activists, NGOs and volunteers who are working for interfaith harmony. She is the Chairperson of National Council for Interfaith Dialogue and Interfaith Peace Committee for Interfaith Dialogue, working for the rights of both Christians and Muslim Communities. While celebrating this joyous moment, Ms. Nayla J Dayal said, as we share the holiday season, let us reflect on the great blessings that God has bestowed upon us and remember the sacrifices of all of those who strive to make struggle for peace and interfaith harmony. I also pay tribute to all those who defend our religious freedoms and liberties that

make the very celebration of this season possible. The fundamental message of Christmas is peace and good will. I also encourage you to take a moment to remember helpless people of Christian community in this day. She also said that, Christmas is a season that reminds us the message, shared by many faiths, and invites us to care for one another. Christmas is a time to reflect on what binds us together, as members of the same family, as neighbors, as fellow-citizens and as human beings, she added. Conveying his message on the occasion, she emphasized the need of equal rights for Christians, living in Pakistan. She also recalled the historic commitment of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that in Pakistan all citizens would be equal, they would enjoy equal rights and they shall be free to go to their churches, temples, mosques and any other places of worship. DA REPORT

21


Mauritius’s

Deputy PM visited Pakistan n Meets President and other key dignitaries n Agree to promote bilateral relations n Calls for enhanced trade cooperation with Pak

D

eputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius H.H. Ahmed Rashid Beeneejaun, who is also Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities has visited Pakistan on the invitation of Riphah International University, Islamabad, to attend its eight convocation held at the Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad recently. During his visit, the Deputy PM meets with President Mamnoon Hussain, Sartaz Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security & Foreign Affairs and other key dignitaries to promote bilateral relations between Pakistan and Mauritius. The Deputy PM also visited HEC, Faisal Mosque and Al-Shifa during his visit. It is worth mentioning here that this four day visit was the first high level visit to Pakistan from Mauritius in a long time and will provide a good opportunity to explore ways and means to further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations. The Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr. Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun also holds the portfolio of Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities called on the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security & Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz here at Foreign Office. During the meeting, bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest were discussed. Both the leaders underscored the importance of enhancing further the existing relations. Addressing a select gathering of ambassadors and dignitaries at the residence of UAE ambassador to Pakistan Eissa Abdullah AlBasha Al-Noaimi, the Mauritius Deputy PM said that Pakistan’s potential to undertake fabulous development in years to come and expressed the hope that it would make a remarkable progress down the line in months

22

and years. Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch was guest of the honour on the occasion. Nawaf Abdulaziz Alenzi, ambassador of Kuwait, Sayar Bin Abdurrahman Al Mawdah, Ambassador of Qatar; Dr. Rushdi Mahmood Rasheed Al-Ani, Iraqi Ambassador; Mohammad Rashad Daureeawo, High Commissioner of Mauritius; Riyadh Yousuf Ahmed Al Raisi Oman, Iftikhar A Cheema, Manage Emirates North Pakistan; and Brigadier Maqsood-ulHasan, Principal Ripha International University (RIU) were also present. The host ambassador, Eissa Abdullah AlBasha Al-Noaimi in his remarks said Mauritius had peculiar position in the Gulf of Eden and the Indian Ocean since it was a littoral state situated on the coast of world’s important ocean. The ambassador while introducing Dr. Ahmed Rashid told the gathering that

he was FRCP doctor who had been helping the humanity generously through charity. In an interview with APP, Pakistan's Premier News Agency here at the sidelines of International Riphah University convocation, Deputy PM of Mauritius, Dr. Ahmad Rashid Beebeejaun said that his country was keen to develop trade relations with Pakistan and enter into the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to tap the trade potential existing between the two countries. Pakistan and Mauritius had signed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), during July 2007 in Mauritius, which became operational since 30th November 2007. Under the Agreement, Pakistan offered concessions to Mauritius on 130 items, whereas Mauritius has given concession on 102 items. The ultimate objective of this PTA was to pave the way for FTA encompassing almost all products, trade and services, however this agreement is yet to be materialized. Dr. Ahmad Rashid said that on his return to his country he would take up the issue of FTA to help make progress in this regard for the sake of trade development. Talking about the overall trade, he pointed out that communication connectivity was the main hurdle in boosting the trade between the two countries, highlighting the importance of addressing this issue to boost the trade. He said that currently, there is not direct air connectivity between the two countries and the flights are running through Dubai. In a meeting with Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the Deputy PM said that Mauritius and Pakistan agree to promote bilateral relations especially in the fields of religion, tourism, agriculture and culture. The minister, on the occasion said Pakistan


is a multicultural country and the minorities are enjoying all rights as per constitution of Pakistan and the development funds of the minorities are non-lapsable which are spent on their welfare. The Deputy PM informed the minister that the Muslims community of Mauritius identify itself with the flag of Pakistan at all remarkable places and occasions over there as many public places have been named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

Visits Al-Shifa Trust Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr. Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun has visited AlShifa Trust Eye Hospital where he was received by President of the Trust Lieutenant General (R) Hamid Javaid and others. During this visit, the Deputy PM asked the administration of Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital to organize free eye camps twice a year and help improve the skills and services of eyecare staff in the island. The visiting dignitary lauded the healthcare cooperation by Pakistan as the Trust has been sending teams of

senior doctors comprising Dean Prof Wajid Ali Khan, Chief Consultant Nadeem Qureshi and others to Mauritius for the last six years. Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun called for enhanced cooperation between medical fraternities of both countries to help suffering humanity. He also visited different departments of the hospital, inquired after health of patients, appreciated quality of service, took keen interest in latest equipment and inaugurated the newly completed Children Block where almost 200 children will be treated daily.

Visits HEC Mauritius’ Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Rashid Beebeejaun has also paid a visit to the Higher Education Commission’s offices and marveled at Pakistan’s progress in the education sector. He said that he would like to promote student and faculty exchanges to benefit from the Pakistani experience which could lead to the opening of Pakistan university cam-

puses in Mauritius. Mauritius has expressed keen interest in collaborating with Pakistan in the higher education sector, he added.

Deputy PM at Faisal Mosque Deputy Prime Minister Mauritius Dr. Ahmed Rashid Beebeeaun has visited Faisal Mosque and called on Dr. Ahmed Yousif AlDraiweesh, during this visit. Issues of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Dr. Al-Draiweesh said that IIUI is committed to extend bilateral education ties with maximum countries of the world and cooperation in the field of education between IIUI and Mauritius would pave the way towards achieving the objective of providing quality education to the students of Muslim countries. Dr. Ahmed Rashid assured that Mauritius would provide all possible cooperation to IIUI in the field of education and vowed that exchange of faculties between his country’s educational institutions and IIUI would be discussed with the educational experts in his country. A university crest was also presented to Deputy Prime Minister Mauritius by the President IIUI. DA REPORT

23


“Pakistan has great importance for IIRO� Sheikh Ihsan bin Saleh Al-Taib

Secretary General IIRO - Saudi Arabia speaks to Diplomatic Affairs

Abubakar Siddique

M

r. Ihsan bin Saleh Al-Taib, the Secretary General of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) in Saudi Arabia, visited Pakistan last month as he met with Pakistani leadership and representatives of civil society here. He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is a true friend of Pakistan and always stood with Pakistani brothers as per desires of the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. During the visit, he discussed relief work of the organization in Pakistan and briefed the Pakistani leadership about the various functions of the Organization all over the world. He said that Pakistan has great importance for IIRO as both the countries are enjoying cordial and bilateral relations. Diplomatic Affairs is committed to promote bilateral relations between Pakistan and brotherly countries for over many years by promoting its role via presenting thoughts and views of how the heads of other countries think about Pakistan and what role the other brotherly countries should play for Pakistan in the form of interviews, opinions and articles. During the visit of Mr. Ihsan bin Saleh Al-Taib, the Secretary General

24


of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) in Saudi Arabia, Diplomatic Affairs has conducted an interview of visiting Saudi guest to know more about the future plans of IIRO in Pakistan. The briefed excerpts of the discussion is presented here for your fleeting look. When asked about IIRO’s mode of functioning, Mr. Ihsan bin Saleh Al-Taib, the Secretary General of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) in Saudi Arabia said that IIRO is working closely with Pakistani government and Pakistani NGOs after getting clearance from the Foreign Office of Pakistan through Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan. Over a question regarding the role of IIRO in rehabilitation activities, he informed that IIRO had worked in rehabilitation of the victims of earthquake and floods in Pakistan as it participated in developmental, relief, health and educational projects. While replying on the provision of relief in terms of support of all kinds, he said he is sure that the organization, with its accredited humanitarian work, distances itself from rumors, and, above all, suspicion. Taib added that its work speaks for itself and that nobody can dispute that, pointing in this regard to the support provided by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi people. While commenting over the progress and achievements of IIRO’s efforts and work for Pakistan, he said, during my visit, the Pakistani leadership and Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer expressed appreciation for the Organization’s efforts in Pakistan. Similarly Minister of Religious Affairs of Pakistan Saradar Muhammad Yusuf said that his country attaches great importance to its relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, commending the Kingdom for its ongoing support for the Pakistani people through its relief organizations in Pakistan. While insisting over the role of Embassy of Saudi Arabia in supervising and distributing relief goods among affectees, Mr. Ihsan bin Saleh Al-Taib, the Secretary General of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) in Saudi Arabia praised Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer and the Organization’s Regional Office in Pakistan for supervising the distribution of relief aid provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the needy people in the best way.

25


MESSAGE

On the 55th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution H.E. Jesus Zenen Buergo Concepcion Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

O

n January 1st, 2014, the Cuban people celebrate the 55th Anniversary of its Revolution. In this day of great significance and happiness, we celebrate the conclusion of our struggle for independence; a unique process that started on October 10th, 1868. It was aimed first, to get freedom after 400 years of the Spanish colonialism; and second, to rescue the interrupted independence from the U.S. dominium that lasted 59 years. The triumph of the popular insurrection on January 1st, 1959 paved the way to the complete exercise of sovereignty and independence by the people of Cuba. In this struggle the Cuban nation was forged. A nation with its very own stamp emerged from the mixture of European, African, Asian and Latino American roots; with a culture of peace and human projection, very proud of its own existence and very sensitive in defending its singularity. On January 8th, 1959, a week after the popular victory, Fidel characterized that historic moment: “I think this is the time of our history, tyranny has been overthrown. The joy is immense. Yet much remains to be done. Let us not deceive in thinking that everything will be easy, maybe, from now on, everything will be more difficult�. With the triumph of the Cuban Revolution the excluded land people became into owners; there were created institutional, social and legal conditions for achieving full equally of man, the terrible dead time and unemployment disappeared, and working and studying became into real opportunities. These measures had particular significance for the most marginalized people and also for women and blacks. In half of a century on independent history, Cuba

26


has been able to raise its people to his own stature. Its achievements in education, health system, social security, cultural, sport and scientific development and other are recognized all over the world. Faithful of its historic tradition and the path marked by its founding fathers, Cuba has put at the disposition of the humankind its modest advancements. Our work during these years was carried out in the midst of constant threats, media campaigns, terrorist and military attacks and the economic war of imperialism and its allies, all of which forced Cuba to invest huge human and material resources. As a result of this and the global economic crisis, which Cuba has not escaped, deficiencies persist, but difficulties must be faced with the intelligent effort of all. In spite of the fact that the Cuban economy continued its progress within the current year, does not reach the expected goals. The Gross Domestic Product grew 2.7 percent, lower than the 3.6 planned. Even in these circumstances very complex, has managed to maintain similar levels in the social services, such as for example, the health and education, among others, which are provided free to the entire Cuban population. Huge interest has attracted the creation of the Special Development Area of Mariel, destined to become an important pole of attraction for foreign investment and at the same time in testing ground in modern technologies and new forms and methods of business management, in harmony with the preservation of the environment. At the end of next month of January we will open the first phase of the Container Terminal being built there, along with other vital infrastructure and for which

we have enjoyed with the funding provided by the government of Brazil . The gradual progress continues not only in education, public health and social security, but in all areas to maintain the sovereign nation status, dignity and independence. Last October 29, 2013, Cuba submitted to the consideration of the UN General Assembly a resolution entitled ¨Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba¨. This resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority of countries with a total of 188 votes in favor, 2 against (U.S. and ISRAEL ) and 3 abstentions. We are very grateful to the Government and people of Pakistan because during 22 years we had received a full support voting a favor of this Resolution. I would like to convey my deep appreciation to all friends and people of Pakistan in this special day. It is a proof of the strong and deep friendship that exists between our two countries and people. This is a wonderful occasion to highlight our similarities as nations, our struggles for independence, sovereignty and self-determination. We are two nations that lived under colonial dominium and fought to be independent countries. We are countries very proud that struggled for a better future and two peoples that loved their motherland. This is a moment to remember our forefathers: the Cubans Jose Martí, Antonio Maceo, the priest Felix Varela and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes; the Pakistanis Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Alama Muhammad Iqgal and Liquat Ali Khann. They devoted their lives to the foundation of our countries and guided our peoples through the path to independence. They taught us to see to our future with pride and self-confidence, and to understand our realities and hopes as nations. Long live to all of them and to their

endless example and guidance. Let´s wish for the better future of our countries. Let´s celebrate the friendship between our two countries. Let´s celebrate next year the graduation ceremony of the first group of students who arrived to Cuba in 2007 under the scholarship program for 1,000 young Pakistanis to study Medicine. This program, which was a dream, will become a reality next February 18. This day will be historical for both peoples; when 308 young Pakistanis who has been living in our country for 7 years. Will get degree of Doctor in Medicine. Before go to Cuba for this studies, they made the commitment to return to their origin places for work for 5 years serving the population as part of the public care system existing in Pakistan. These graduating doctors are expected to contribute towards improving the health sector in Pakistan , strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. Once again I extends my thanks to all friends that had supported this Scholarship Program and would like to express the Cubans are ready to make join efforts with the Government and people of Pakistan to promote the traditional friendship and strengthen. Is our desire to expand our cooperation in different fields that are of mutual benefit and contribute to the economic and social development of both countries, as well as promote the actions in the international arena will contribute positively to the achievement of peace and greater prosperity and happiness for all peoples of the world. On this occasion we would like to extend our most sincere congratulations to all the peoples of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with the hope that progress can be made for the achievement of peace and grant them greater happiness and prosperity in the new year of 2014.

27


bINA hARRI

The art of

Cigar Rolling

T

here are in the world just few things that are known without question to be the best of their kind. A Habano – or a Havana cigar is one of them. You will nowhere find anything that matches the centuries-old culture of cultivating Cuban tobacco: the extraordinary labor that the tobacco farmer incest in his crop; the months

28

and years of patient waiting before his lead is deemed fir for a Habano. A further distinction lays in the definition of the term “Habanos”, because all Habanos are Cuban, but no means all Cuban cigars are Habanos. All Habanos are crafted totalmente a Mano - totally by hand – using methods that were pioneered in Havana two centuries ago and remain virtually unchanged to this day. Nowhere in the world grows tobacco better than in Cuba. But even here, only few selected Vegas – plantations – are judged good enough to grow tobacco for Habanos. That is because more than 500 manual tasks are performed in both agricultural and manufacturing process from the planting of

the seeds to the Habano’s final resting place in its box. A Habano’s anatomy takes up to six types of tobacco leaf to, and each type is specially grown and prepared for its purpose. Firstly, two, three or four types of leaf are blended to form the tripa or filler, the source of the rich flavors and aromas that immediately distinguish a Habano from the rest; n The Volado: a light flavored leaf for combustibility. n The Seco: a medium flavored and most important leaf for aroma. n The Ligero: a full-flavored and slow burning lead to add the strength to the blend.


n The Medio Tiempo: a rare lead used very occasionally to bring extra intensity to the taste. After the filler is brought together, the capote, or binder, is the special leaf that wraps around the leaves of the filler, in order to define the shape of the Habano and perfect its smoking quality. All of course, from the hands of a skillful and experienced Cigar Roller who will tentatively form the cigar. Lastly, to delight once’s eye, the capa, or wrapper, is the exquisitely thin and supple leaf that forms the outer surface of the cigar. The wrapper contributes little to the flavor of a Habano, but is stands as the ultimate symbol of the cigar’s perfection. Every cigar must pass through the most stringent quality control processes establish by the Regulatory Council for the Protected Denomination of Origin (D.O.P) Habanos, before they can earn the precious title of Habano; a benchmark of excellence. From such tradition and extraordinary craftsmanship, Mrs. Mercedes Hernandez Orta, a high level esteemed Cigar Roller, who has been is working in the Cuban Tobacco Industry since

early 1982, is visiting Pakistan for the very first time. She a skilled roller, who has obtained the 9th Category of Certification (the highest top level among Cuban Cigar rolling), and she is able to roll ROBUSTOS, PROMINENTES, JULI-

ETAS and other fabulous large cigars, with most principally the one of PAREJOS. She has travelled abroad in order to take part in several fairs in Spain to express the art of cigar rolling between the years of 2004 to 2006, and she is employed in the factory of JUAN MARTINEZ CARBALLEA in Guines (Artemisa Province) in Cuba. The presence of a Cuban Cigar roller for the first time in Pakistan, is the result of the initiative of the Embassy of Cuba in Pakistan and the joint efforts of the Cia. SS Alliance International from Lahore, exclusive distributor of Cuban Tobacco in Pakistan and the J & S Company, sponsor of Events 7UP BONANZA. Thanks to them, during this month there have been various activities in famous Restaurants of Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. In such events the Pakistani public has been closer to the Cuban culture and traditions.

29


PFOWA’s Annual charity bazaar

Grand show of diplomatic community

P

akistan Foreign Office Women Association (PFOWA) last month held its twenty-first annual ‘charity bazaar’ that turned out as a display of rich cultural blend of the diplomatic communities. The event was held in collaboration with the diplomatic missions based in Islamabad to promote deeper social and cultural understanding and fostering friendship. Besides the many stalls put up by the diplomatic corps; members of PFOWA and others, there was a ‘Parade of nations’ dress show by many diplomatic missions; a raffle draw with grand prizes and entertainment provided by pop star Faakhir, who not only sang many of his popular numbers but also donated a cheque to add to the kitty! The guest of honour was Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz. Welcoming the gathering of diplomats and other guests, president PFOWA, Shaista Jilani thanked them all as well as the chief guest for taking time out to be present on this occasion. She appreciated the involvement of the diplomatic community and said this year had seen PFOWA consolidate and expand its

30

institutional framework and outreach programs. Mentioning the help and support given by the association to various NGO’s she said all this is made possible by the generous contribution of everybody who takes part in the bazaar program, making it a celebration of the richness of our diversity and the uniqueness of our humanity. On a personal note she said the bazaar was the culmination of her two year tenure as the head of PFOWA, an outstanding organization with a proud history of achievements. “We have run a long race since our first tentative steps and from the bottom of my heart I thank all who have contributed to the growth of this organization,” she said and concluded by thanking the management of Serena for their support, CEO Aziz Boolani for being extremely helpful; her executive committee; the Foreign office and Faakhir. Sartaj Aziz was all praise for PFOWA and said they were doing a fantastic job not only of catering to the needs of the less fortunate but also in promoting the positive aspects of the country.

The diplomatic community had put up a grand show and there were many beautiful items to buy, or admire if one was not inclined to do so. Some of the missions only had displays of their different and unique handicrafts so visitors could learn more about them. Many missions had clothes and jewellery which the ladies made a beeline for household items were also popular. Two special attractions were the food court with cuisine from different countries available as per your taste - hot and spicy or sweet and sour — the variety was amazing, so hats off to the ladies of the missions who made this great effort. Visitors thronged to get a taste of the food and the court was full throughout the event. The second was the Parade of Nations which showcased the national dresses of many nations. This was particularly interesting for a large number of visitors because it is not every day that they get to see someone wearing an ethnic outfit. All in all it was a very successful event and definitely something worthwhile attending as well as looking forward to next year! DA REPORT


Pakistan’s support

for Sudanese in critical times is commendable: Sudanese envoy

R

esearch think-tank MUSLIM Institute organized a seminar “Sudan: Current Situation & Future Prospects”, in a local hotel. The event was attended by diplomats, scholars, analysts and researchers from different universities and research institutes. In his inaugural address, Chairman MUSLIM Institute Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali said that MUSLIM Institute is dedicated to undertake research on and objective analysis of challenges being faced by Pakistan as well as other Muslim countries to overcome the same. Today’s event is also part of the same effort. Sudan holds great importance not only in Africa but also in entire Islamic world. This seminar is aimed at promoting awareness about conditions prevalent in Sudan. We would be enlightened by our distinguished speakers about maneuverings of international powers to cause ethnic and communal disturbances in Sudan to occupy its resources. Ambassador of Sudan Shafi Ahmad Muhammad, expressing his views, said Sudan is blessed with rich resources but also facing lot of challenges. However, support of Pakistan and its people for their Sudanese brethren in critical times is commendable. Both Pakistan and Sudan have brotherly relations and due to its strategic location, Sudan can offer Pakistan access to Africa. We expect further warming of relations between both the countries in days to come. Ambassador of Palestine Waleed Abu Ali,

in his address, termed the holding of seminar a matter of great joy as everybody gathered to discuss situation of a brotherly Muslim country and to find out solution to the same. Sudan has been providing edible items to the Arab world. He suspected Israeli influence in stoking conflicts in Sudan as Israel wants control over Red Sea. Israel has already caused disturbances in Libya, Yemen and Syria to establish hegemony in the Arab world. Israel wants to weaken every resourceful country in the region so that no one challenges its domination. He urged that OIC should play vibrant role in these critical times. Adnan Hanif, Research Associate MUSLIM Institute, made a presentation on history, geography, demography, resources and nature of conflicts in Sudan and also gave brief overview of Pak – Sudan relations. Gen Hameed Gul speaking on the occasion stated that Sudan was largest country not only in Africa but also in Arab world prior to its division in 2011. Role of international organizations / powers in Darfur conflict in 2003 cannot be overlooked. The western NGOs want to spend their resources on changing culture and values

of poor people and not on changing their plight. The same NGOs indulged in false and malicious propaganda to effect division of Sudan. The Christian missionaries also played their role in bringing Christian minority into majority. Pakistan and Sudan have lot of cultural similarities; besides, both are located on sides of Middle East. International powers are trying to increase their influence in Muslim countries to weaken and destabilize them. The Muslim countries need to forge unity among them and learn selfreliance. Chairman PML (N) Raja Zafar ul Haq said that people of Sudan are very tolerant and forbearing. He regretted that some Islamic countries also have their role in deteriorating situation in Sudan. However, things may improve as North and South Sudan are trying for the same through reconciliation. He further stated that there are many similarities between situation in Sudan and Pakistan. Due to dedication and determination of Sudanese people, bright future for them is expected. At the end, there was questions and answers session, which witnessed active participation of the audience. DA REPORT

31


DA Report

PHOTOS: SHEIKH ARIF

Lithuanian Presidency at EU celebrated in Pakistan

T

o celebrate the presidency of the Republic of Lithuania in European Union, the Lithuanian Consul General in Pakistan Masud M Khan hosted a reception which was attended by prominent personalities from all walks of life including government functionaries, members of the parliament, diplomatic corps, diplomatic analysts and representatives of electronic and print media. Speaking on the occasion, Consul General Masud M Khan apprised the audience

32

of the history of Republic of Lithuania since its independence. Khan also mentioned the role of the European Union in its assistance to Lithuania for economic development. He said, “The taking over of the Presidency of the European Union by Lithuania itself is a matter of great importance to the young nation.” He said Lithuania strongly believed in the objectives of the European Union vis-avis the maintenance of bonds of friendship, peace and intra-regional travel, tours and trade within the European Union. He sug-

gested that Pakistan and its neighboring South Asian countries could emulate this model of peace for regional cooperation. He traced the various stages of economic growth, the republic’s increasing rise in gross domestic product (GDP) and increase in exports to the tune of $35 billion. He highlighted Lithuania’s achievement in the IT sector, forestry, fisheries and agriculture. He elaborated Lithuania’s role in the European Union, NATO and other International bodies. Lithuania assumed the Presidency of the


Council of the European Union in July 2013 looking to punch above its weight. As is the case with many small EU Member States, the country had both a lot to prove and an ambitious agenda it was anxious to push with European partners. The small Baltic nation has accomplished much during its eventful presidency, from helping to find consensus for the next multiannual framework budget to securing tangible outputs towards energy security. By all accounts, Lithuanian diplomats executed their heavy responsibilities with marked

professionalism and skill, proving that the country is a credible manager and honest broker. Lithuania has graduated from eager pupil to a full and influential player in European politics. Lithuania is only in its ninth year as an EU member and 23rd year of independence. The ambitious aspirations, however, were in line with the country’s political and economic trajectory. Over the past two decades, the country has transformed its economy and political system and become a highly active member of the EU and the transat-

lantic community, earning the nickname the “Baltic Tiger” for its economic and political resilience. Speaking on the occasion, European Union Head of the Delegation and Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Bertil Wigemark congratulated the consul general for holding the reception. He said the European Union wished Pakistan’s movement towards a strong, democratic and sustainable economic growth. He renewed the European Union’s continuous support for various development projects in Pakistan.

33


34


DA Report

PHOTOS: SHEIKH ARIF

A

grand reception to celebrate Qatar’s National Day was held recently in Islamabad. The ceremony was hosted by His Excellency Sayar Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Mawdah, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The reception began with the national anthems of Qatar and Pakistan. The ceremony was attended by a gathering of Pakistani citizens who represent the elite businessmen, media professionals, journalists, Directors of different departments of the Foreign Ministry, senior statesmen, ambassadors from Arab and other countries, deans of the diplomatic corps, women’s and other community groups, who congratulated the leadership, the government and the people of the State of Qatar and wished them continued progress and prosperity under the visionary leadership of Emir H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The ceremony was also attended by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources along with other dignitaries. The ceremony included a number of cultural and media programs showcasing Qatar’s heritage on social and cultural life and achievements.

Qatar National Day is a national commemoration of Qatar’s unification and independence and is celebrated on December 18 every year. The holiday was confirmed by a June 21,

2007 decree of Emir and Heir Apparent H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Qatar celebrates its national day in commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when

H.H. Sheikh Jassim bin Muhammad bin Thani, the founder of the State of Qatar to the rule of the country, succeeded his father, H.H. Sheikh Muhammad bin Thani, as the ruler and united the country. The occasion emphasizes Qatar’s identity and history, embodies the ideals and visionary aspirations that the country was founded on, and pays homage to the great men and women who participated in building the nation. The guests were served with delicious Arabic and Pakistani cuisine. Pakistan and Qatar are enjoying cordial bilateral relations since Qatar has gained a sovereign status in 1971. Pakistan was among the countries that recognized Qatar after its independence. They have expressed their resolve to intensify cooperation in the fields of trade and commerce‚ energy‚ agriculture‚ infrastructure and investment on multiple platforms and forums. The Government of Qatar had taken multiple initiatives in Pakistan so far as it has constructed a model village in Rahim Yar Khan District comprising 200 houses of two rooms each, two schools, play ground, mosques and a shopping area. Moreover, The Royal family of Qatar has always showed love and affection for the people of Pakistan. It has always stood by Pakistan in times of need.

35


s r i a ff A c i t Diploma

irs.net omaticaffa www.dipl

irs.net omaticaffa info@dipl

r 2013 Decembe

RT L REPO SPECIA

“Diplomatic Affairs” Participated in Qatar’s National Day

D tions” herly rela Qatar br-Motawdah s of PaRak-hm Al ht ig n an ta he kis w Pa ing ne public of r Abdul e are bond cellency Saya to the Islamic Re

“W

36

His Ex

r

te of Qata

r of the Sta

Ambassado

iplomatic Affairs has warmly participated in the Qatar’s National Day celebrations, held recently in Islamabad along with a special edition of Diplomatic Affairs, covering the perils of the State of Qatar. This initiative was warmly welcomed and appreciated by His Excellency Sayar Abdul Rahman Al-Mawdah, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The contents of this special edition were also commended by the Diplomats and participants. For that appreciation, we, on behalf of Diplomatic Affairs extend special Thanks to His Excellency Sayar Abdul Rahman Al-Mawdah, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.


37


38


39


Participating in National Day of Qatar

40


Five Year Plan 2007 – 2011. Under this Plan, QC is undertaking programs associated with the socio-economic development of the country particularly in the fields of basic education, primary healthcare, small enterprise development, water and sanitation, women’s empowerment. Some of its achievements during 2013 is Pakistan are as follows.

Major Achievements in 2013

Q

atar Charity (QC) is an international non-profit and non-governmental humanitarian organization founded in the State of Qatar in 1980. QC is the oldest and biggest voluntary organization that has been in a consultative status with the UN ECOSOC since 1997. By the end of 2008, QC is serving in more than 36 countries including Asia and Africa. QC has been introduced to the humanitarian scene in Pakistan early 1992. It has launched a

• Livelihoods & Income Generation Program • Water & Sanitation Program • Community Physical Infrastructure Scheme • Social Protection • Women and Family Support Program • Education and Cultural Support • Relief and Emergency Response • Seasonal Program

Livelihood and Income Generation Program 41


To coup with less livelihood choices and vulnerabilities the program was launched that provide local people more choices to eradicate poverty from the area. Leepa Integrated Development Program (LIDP) was launched in Leepa for the sustainable development in the area. Beside all other interventions of livelihoods and income generation, small and medium enterprise development for the small shopkeepers is one of the prominent activities of QC in Leepa.

Water Sanitation and Hygene During initial baseline survey it was found that health and hygiene conditions of the people are not good. A large number of the people are suffering with disease related directly or indirectly to hygienic conditions of the people.

Community Physical Infrastructure (CPI) Seven DVSS have been completed with the active participation of COs in both the UCs of Tehsil Leepa. Two irrigation channel have been completed in village Mandal and Lubgran (Man-

dal comes under UN Nokot and Lubgran is the village of UC Banamullah.

Social Protection Since its inception in 1992, Qatar Charity Social Protection department is serving the needy and undeserved groups from different geographical locations of Pakistan. This program is consists of Orphan’s Care and Welfare, Family Support and Students Scholarship.

Women and Family Support Program Leepa is the most neglected and far flung areas of AJK. Unemployment ration especially in females is very high. They are facing many problems i.e. health and education and less development opportunities.

Education and Cultural Support

Preservation and protection of local culture and tradition is the sole priority of Qatar Charity Programs to achieve the goal of sustainable development. In addition to this, Qatar Charity firmly believes that development is a transition process which can be achieved through men-

42

tal transition and mental transition can bring through the process of feeding education in generation.

Relief and Emergency Response Qatar Charity has strong presence in disaster prone areas as one of the mainstreamed humanitarian organization such as Swat & Lower Dir KPK, Leepa AJK, Rajanpur South Punjab, Tando Muhammad Khan Sindh Province.

Seasonal Program Since its inception in Pakistan, Qatar Charity has been pro-actively taking part in celebrating different events under the Islamic calendar. The aim of these celebrations is to strengthen the bond of humanity and spiritual enthusiasm among the Islamic brethren.


Pak-Qatar Takaful

Participating in National Day of Qatar

43


45


Pak-US Ties Updates U.S. Exchange Program Alumni discuss combating gender-based violence

M

ore than 200 students, activists, and educators discussed best practices for combating gender-based violence at Islamabad’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST). Hosted by the PakistanU.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) and NUST, the event was part of PUAN’s outreach to highlight the ongoing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) campaign. The international campaign started on November 25, the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, and will end on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Peter Brennan of the U.S. Embassy delivered remarks to open the event. “The U.S. government remains committed to addressing gender based violence,” Brennan said. “One of the key ways we do so is through exchange programs that provide Pakistani professionals with opportu-

nities to build their capacity and to share best practices.” PTV World anchor Sidra Iqbal moderated a panel of experts who were all alumni of U.S. government sponsored exchange programs: Ms. Aqsa Ghairat Ali Khan, Executive Director of the Women’s Organization for Rights and Development (WORD); Mr. Syed Irfan Haider, Director of Operations of Acid Survivors Foundation; and Ms. Ayesha Saddique Khan, barrister and member of the Islamabad High Court. Panelists discussed how to strengthen local efforts to prevent violence against women, and ways activists can develop and share new and effective strategies.

U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan meets Pakistani leaders

T

he United States Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador James F. Dobbins, met with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad. He met with Advisor to the Prime Minister for Foreign Policy and National Security Sartaj Aziz and the Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, among other officials. Dobbins’ visit is a continuation of our bilateral engagement with Pakistan as the United States remains committed to fostering

peace, security, and economic growth in the region. Dobbins also discussed a number of elements of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, which was re-energized during the visit of Secretary of State John Kerry to Pakistan in August and reaffirmed by Prime Minister Sharif and President Obama in October 2013. Three working groups under this Strategic Dialogue have met to date: The Energy Working Group met in Washington, D.C. on November 12; the Defense Consultative

U.S. scholarships support students

E

ighty one students are pursuing advanced degrees at Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS) Arid Agriculture University in Rawalpindi and at Quaid-eAzam University in Islamabad thanks to need-based scholarships provided by the United States government. Mr. Larry Sampler, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and outher met scholars to celebrate their academic achievement and to discuss their educational progress.

46

Group met in Washington, D.C. on November 21-22, and the Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation Working Group met in Islamabad on November 21, 2013. The Economics and Finance and the Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism working groups are expected to meet in the coming months, culminating in a Strategic Dialogue Ministerial meeting in early 2014.

Global UGrad Alumni Reunion Demonstrates Community Service Commitment

U

.S. Embassy Islamabad and the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) welcomed more than 300 alumni of the Global Undergraduate (UGrad) exchange program to the second annual UGrad reunion in Islamabad. The U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Williams and Rita Akhtar, executive director of the U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan, greeted the students, who represented all regions of Pakistan.


Pak-US Ties Updates

U.S. Secretary of Defense visits Islamabad

U

nited States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Minister of Defense Khwaja Asif, Minister of Finance Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif, National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz, and other Pakistani officials in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Secretary Hagel’s visit, the first by a U.S. Secretary of Defense in over three years, was an opportunity to advance a broad, robust, and continuous United States– Pakistan dialogue on topics of shared concern, including security and stability in the region. Secretary Hagel reviewed the mutually beneficial bilateral security relationship and reaffirmed the strong U.S. commitment to fostering peace and security in the region. The Secretary during his meetings also emphasized the U.S. desire for a strong, long-term partnership with

U Pakistan. During his meeting with the Prime Minister, the Secretary reviewed shared concerns regarding the activities of terrorist groups, including the Haqqani network, on Pakistani territory. He also discussed the robust U.S. security assistance program designed to support the Pakistani government’s struggle against militants responsible for killing tens of thousands of Pakistanis.

U.S. expands need based scholarship program

T

he United States government will launch a second phase of its Merit and Needs Based Program which will benefit 3,000 deserving but financially constrained Pakistani students. This was shared by Gregory Gottlieb, Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Pakistan in a meeting with 29 vice chancellors of partner universities and Professor Mukhtar Ahmad, Executive Director, Higher Education Commission, Government of Pakistan.

A total of 1,807 scholarships were awarded in Phase-I of the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program to financially needy students and more than 1,350 of them have obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees. The scholarship program also encouraged other donors to award scholarships at participating institutions resulting in a more than doubling of the number of students enrolled since 2004. Based on the successes of the program, needs based scholarships have increased from two to more than 70 public and private universities since 2004.

140 Pak students set to embark undergraduate study

U

.S. Embassy Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Peter Brennan congratulated 140 Pakistani students traveling to the United States for undergraduate study as part of the U.S. government-funded Global Undergraduate (Global UGRAD) Program. Brennan congratulated the participants saying, “We are proud that in Pakistan we run the single largest array of exchanges of any U.S. Embassy in the world - sending over 1,200 Pakistanis to the United States every year. This shows

U.S. committed to help Pakistan: Olson

the depth of our commitment to young Pakistanis, and our intent to invest in Pakistan’s future.” One hundred and forty Pakistani students will soon depart for a semester of study at U.S. colleges and universities under the Global UGRAD fellowship program, a U.S. Department of State initiative. The U.S. government fully funds these fellowships for the entire period of study. The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) administers the program.

.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson underscored the U.S. government’s commitment to increase opportunities for entrepreneurs in Pakistan at the 2013 Pakistan StartUp Cup awards ceremony which took place at the Islamabad Marriott Hotel. The StartUp Cup, jointly organized by the U.S. Embassy and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad Chapter, is a business model competition that took place over 19 weeks, with more than 400 Pakistani start-up businesses participating. Prize money of PKR 1,000,000 for the winner and 750,000 and 500,000 for the runners up was awarded to the top three businesses. The winner of the Pakistan StartUp Cup will compete in the First Annual World StartUp Cup in Yerevan, Armenia, in January 2014.

Douglas Frantz visits Islamabad

U

nited States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Douglas Frantz visited Islamabad on December 10. He met with Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and with representatives from Pakistani media outlets. The Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs is responsible for ensuring that timely and accurate information about U.S. foreign policy and State Department activities is conveyed to U.S. and international media. The information outreach that Assistant Secretary of State Frantz manages supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests and broadens understanding of the United States.

47


Pakistan to continue supporting Palestine cause: Ayyaz

S

peaker National Assembly Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq said Pakistan would continue its unequivocal and unwavering support to the Palestine

cause. “The Palestinian issue should be resolved in a just and fair manner, which is acceptable to the people of Palestine”, he said talking to Palestinian Ambassador Walid A.M. Abu Ali, who called on him here at the Parliament House. The Speaker said continuous denial of inalienable right of Palestinians and perpetual atrocities by Israelis against innocent citizens were creating unrest in the Middle Eastern region. The ambassador appreciated the support of Pakistan during six-decade long struggle for freedom of Palestine and said Palestinians greatly admired it. The Palestinian leadership was indebted to the Prime Minister

of Pakistan for raising their issue in his address to the UN General Assembly, he added. He said diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Palestine would further grow

with the engagement of political leadership of both sides. He congratulated the NA Speaker on successful holding of Asian parliamentarians moot in Islamabad.

PM Nawaz condoles Mandela’s death at SA embassy

Spanish envoy urges cultural activities to bring people closer

rime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the South African Embassy to express his condolence on death of Nelson Mandela. PM Nawaz conveyed his heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family and the people of South Africa. On this occasion Nawaz Sharif said that death of Nelson Mandela is a great loss to the world. He was a man of foresight and great wisdom and his services towards reconciliation human rights and democracy will be remembered, PM added. He recalled his meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1991 in Harare and said that it was an honor and pleasure meeting such a great person. Nelson Mandela twice visited Pakistan and he wanted peaceful resolution to the issues between Pakistan and India. In his remarks in Condolence Book PM said Mr Mandela memory will serve as a beacon for the coming generations in their quest for human dignity and equality.

he Embassy of Spain organized a four-day Spanish film festival at the PNCA, which was attended by many diplomats, politicians, media, civil society and students. The festival screened four movies – Falmenco De Raiz, Arrugas, Choooof and El Abuelo. Falmenco De Raiz (Flamenco from the Roots) is a documentary by Vicente Perez Herrero about the anthropological roots of flamenco and its essence. Arrugas (Wrinkles) is a drama about the slow fading away of the persons suffering Alzheimer’s disease. This film is based on the graphic novel by Ignacio Ferreras and shows a former banker who is put in a retirement home. His roommate Manuel manipulates everybody in the home. Meanwhile, Choooof (Chooof ) is a TV serial by Tricicle. It is a 26-episode series and recounts the experiences of three castaways stranded on a tiny island in the ocean. Tricicle is a gestural theatre company whose shows are predominantly based on humour. El Abuelo (The Grandfather) is a period drama about the struggle between love and honour by Jose Luis Garci. It is about an elderly man who returns to Spain after visiting the US during the gold rush and losing his fortune. He returns because his son had died.

P

48

T


HC discusses Korean investors interested to Indian bilateral issues with PM invest in Pakistan: Envoy I

A

mbassador of South Korea to Pakistan Song Jong-hawan said Korean companies are showing great interest for investment in energy sector to help Pakistan. Song Jong-hawan expressed these views during his meeting with Minister of State for Water and Power Ch. Abid Sher Ali. The Minister commended the deep ties between Pakistan and Korea in various fields. He said that it is the vision of present government to strengthen relation with Korea and facilitate Korean investors to bring business to Pakistan. Explaining the current potential in energy sector of Pakistan, the Minister said that we had great opportunity in coal and hydel projects as 60000 MW potential lies

Bosnian ambassador meets Shahbaz

A

mbassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nedim Makarevic called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting. Talking to the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the CM said that after getting the status of GSP Plus, exports of textile and garments products of Pakistan will increase and new job opportunities will be created in the country.

in hydel sector only. Avenues between Korea and Pakistan in this regard may further be explored. In the end the Minister of State for Water and Power, Ch. Abid Sher Ali thanked the ambassador for a deep insight into the Korean matters and expected that the relationship would further strengthen between the two countries.

ndian High Commissioner, Dr. T. C. A. Raghavan called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House. Sources said that Indo-Pak bilateral ties and matters of mutual interests came under discussion during this meeting. Prime Minter Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan wanted to resolve all contentious issues which needed settlement with India. Pakistan wants peaceful and friendly relations not only with India, but also with all the neighboring countries, he said. Nawaz Sharif said closer ties between Pakistan and India could open up a new era of peace and prosperity in the region.

Pak - Sudanese leadership signed MoU

S

ecretary General of Pakistan Muslim League Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has called to address issues being faced by Africa and Asia jointly and stressed to bring the people of both continents closer. He was talking to leader of Sudanese ruling party, Dr. Nafeh Ali Nafeh. The Sudanese leader who is also Secretary General of African Political Parties said that both countries enjoy very close friendly relations and people of Sudan consider Pakistan their second home. Sudan has also participated in recently-held Asian Parliamentary Assembly as Observer country and a number of Sudanese students are under education in Paki-

stani institutes all over the country. On the occasion, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed to further promote the friendship between people of both countries. Many political leaders including PML Sindh President Haleem Adil Shiekh and SVP Aleem Adil Shiekh also graced the ceremony.

Pakistan highly values Japanese assistance: PM

P

rime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that Japan is a valuable development partner of Pakistan and Japan’s ongoing assistance in various social, educational and health projects are of high value. He said this while meeting Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan. While referring to his meeting with Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Shinzo Abe on the margins of UNGA Session in New York last year, the

Prime Minster said that “my meeting was very helpful in deepening understanding between the leadership of the two countries”. He further said that Pakistan looks forward to the visit of Japanese Prime Minister, which will complement efforts on both sides to further diversify and expand bilateral relations. Views were also exchanged on educational exchange of students and energy projects in Pakistan. Prime Minister said that “my government has initiated investor friendly policies for

foreign investors and we encourage Japanese investors to come forward and invest in Pakistan”. Japanese Ambassador re-iterated the commitment of the Government of Japan to further strengthening ties between the two governments and its people.

49


Pak-China ties to reap windfalls of strategic partnership

T

he China-Pakistan relations will reap the windfalls of their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership as Beijing and Islamabad are on the verge of capitalizing on massive opportunities of development to realize common dreams of the two Asian nations. This was gist of the remarks given by the Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong at a media reception hosted here at the Chinese Embassy the other day about the wide-ranging opportunities China and Pakistan are working together for the mutual benefits of their people. Ambassador Weidong declared the outgoing year as a year of achievements and a year of harvest for the two countries saying both Beijing and Islamabad have stepped up efforts for economic development in Pakistan by launching a number of bilateral projects including Economic Corridor and energy sector. While sharing roadmap for bilateral cooperation between China and Pakistan in year 2014, Chinese envoy said that a number of Chinese companies have a keen interest in energy cooperation with Pakistan and are willing to participate in water, thermal, solar, wind, civil nuclear power generation projects.

“We should strengthen cooperation in all fields. We will take energy and infrastructure cooperation as a top priority, push forward the planning and the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor so as to promote economic development of Pakistan and improving livelihood of Pakistani people,” he made these remarks while talking to newsmen at a reception hosted for Pakistani and Chinese media in the Chinese Embassy here on Monday night. He said that bypass project of Attabad Lake of Karakorum Highway, Gwadar Port East Bay Motorway, the reconstruction project of flood damage highway; China-Pakistan Cross-Border Cable could be “Early Harvest Projects” of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Pakistan wants good relation with neighboring countries: Sartaj

A pri-

50

dvisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz has said that peaceful neighborhood is the first ority of the country’s foreign policy and sufficient progress has been made in this direction. He also said without peaceful neighborhood we cannot achieve agenda of economic develop-

ment. Sartaj Aziz said to achieve these objectives some basic changes has been made in the foreign policy during the last six months. He said tension in the past two years with Afghanistan has ended and bilateral relations including economic and trade have improved. Referring to process of Afghan reconciliation, he said Pakistan was extending its help in this regard. However, Pakistan is pursuing a policy of non-interference and no favorite. Pakistan wants Afghanistan to resolve its problems itself. The Advisor said initiative has been taken to improve relations with India. Tensions prevailed due to some incidents on LOC but now situation has stabilized. DGMOs of the two countries have met and peace is restored.

Ambassador Jilani emphasizes to strengthen Pak-US ties

P

akistan’s new ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani has said he is in Washington with a “positive message” to promote PakistanUS relations and an emphasis on expanding trade and economic cooperation. Ambassador Jilani, who started functioning fully as Pakistan’s top diplomat in Washington after presenting his credentials to the US State Department, also discussed ways to enhance wide-ranging relationship in a meeting with Special US Special Representative James Dobbins. “We discussed bilateral relations, our perspective with regard to Afghanistan and the need to cooperate and coordinate,” Jilani said in an interaction with Washingtonbased Pakistani journalists. Jilani’s priorities include strengthening bilateral cooperation in trade, economic, energy and defense fields as well as other areas covered under the Pakistan-US Strategic Partnership Dialogue. “Pakistan-US dialogue is going on well, we have covered a lot of ground in PakistanUS relations,” he emphasized, contrasting the current improved state of relations with strains of recent years. In line with the Pakistani leadership’s directives, he will advise all consul general's serving in the United States to dedicate efforts towards promoting trade, economic and investment relations between the two countries.


Javed Malik for new diplomatic assignment

As Pakistan’s special envoy, he will represent the country internationally to deal with business, trade and investment opportunities

P

rime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed Dubai-based Javed Malik as his special envoy, and designated him to the rank of ambassador. Malik’s primary mandate is to advice and assist the prime minister and the government of Pakistan on foreign investment and trade, and overseas matters. As Pakistan’s special envoy, he will represent the country internationally and highlight the business, trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan. He will also reach out to expatriate Pakistanis around the world who wish to contribute to the country’s economic revival. Malik said: “It is a great honour for me to represent my country, and I thank the Prime Minister for entrusting me with this responsibility. In

line with the Prime Minister’s policy to expand trade and attract investment to put Pakistan on the road to economic stability, we have prepared a comprehensive strategy to engage with the international community and highlight the abundance of business, trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan.” This is Malik’s second ambassadorial appointment after his stint as the country’s ambassador at large between 2008 and 2011. He was a part of the team that coordinated the Public Private Partnership Conference held in Dubai in 2009, which was jointly chaired by the Foreign Ministers of the UAE and Pakistan. Malik had hosted the first session of the Overseas Pakistanis Business and Professionals Forum in Dubai, which was chaired by Sharif prior

to his election as Prime Minister. Malik said Nawaz Sharif ’s election as Prime Minister has sent a “very positive signal” to the business community around the world. “They are encouraged to see a transparent government with zero tolerance for corruption now in office in Pakistan, and this has restored investor confidence. We have been contacted by various businessmen and investors from the international and overseas Pakistani community, who see good opportunities in Pakistan and see it as a destination for their investments,” he said. Commenting on his immediate priorities, Malik said he will focus on the UAE and the wider Gulf region. “We need to expand the level of interaction between our business communities and create win-win opportunities to facilitate business, trade and investment relations. A series of initiatives would be launched in this regard. The Prime Minister has directed Pakistani embassies to focus on trade and economic diplomacy, because in modern day diplomacy, trade is the pivot around which bilateral relations between countries can truly flourish.” Speaking about the recent visit of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to Pakistan, Malik said Sharif was “pleased” to welcome Shaikh Khalifa during his private visit. “We are also planning to organise an official visit of the Prime Minister in the near future in which he will also meet with the Pakistani community in the UAE,” he added.

51


ISLAMABAD: Commander of the National Guard of Bahrain, Lieutenant General Sheikh Mohammad bin Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa called on the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM House.

ISLAMABAD: President Bill gates Foundation Dr. Chris Elias called on the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM House.

ISLAMABAD: Dr. Christoph Heusgen, Advisor to German Chancellor on Foreign Policy National Security called on the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM House.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a group photo with Sheikh Falah Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman Doha Group of Qatar and members of his delegation. Ambassador of Qatar to Pakistan, Mubarak Al Naser is also present.

ISLAMABAD: Mr. Kyoichi Tanada, President of Toyota Motor Asia Pacific called on ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif meeting US Secretary Dethe Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM House. fence Chuck Hagel at PM House.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf talking to High Commissioner of Mauritius, Mhd Rashad.

52

ISLAMABAD: H.E. Chandima Weerakkody, Deputy Speaker Parliament of Sri Lanka called on speaker National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in Parliament House.


ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer called on Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar in a meeting with acting US Ambassador, Thomas Williams.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan in meeting with Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata.

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Poland in Pakistan H.E. Andrzej Ananicz called on Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Federal Minister for Industries & Production.

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Nigeria, Dauda Danladi called on Federal Minister for Industries & Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi.

ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner Adam Thomson meeting Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior & Narcotics Control, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan talking to Saudi Ambassador, Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Saleh Al Ghadeer.

ISLAMABAD: Hiroshi Inomata, Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan called on Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit-Baltistan, Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir.

53


ISLAMABAD: Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz in a meeting with the Ambassador of Iraq H. E. Dr. Rushdi al-Ani.

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz in a meeting with us special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins.

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Palestine, Walid Abu Ali called on advisor to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz.

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz in a meeting with the Speaker of Syrian Parliament, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham.

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz in ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner Adam Thomson called on Federal Minister a meeting with UN Resident Coordinator Timo Pakkala. for Finance, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar.

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz in a meeting with German Chancellor’s Advisor on Foreign and Security Policy, Dr. Christoph Heusgen.

54

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaz Aziz in a meeting with Member European Parliament, Sajjad Karim.


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt witnessing the signing of joint sales and marketing agreement of JF-17 with CATIC China at PAC Kamra.

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain cutting the cake to mark the National Day celebration of Bahrain.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Defence, Water & Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif in a meeting with the Ambassador of Sweden, Tomas Rosander.

ISLAMABAD: Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan, Babur Girgin called on Minister of State for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education, Eng. Muhammad Bligh-Ur-Rehman.

ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador Richard G Olson called on Federal Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar.

DUBAI: Speaker National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq meeting with Speaker of Majlis Watani Itihadi, House of the Federal National Council, UAE, Mohammad Ahmad Al Mur.

ISLAMABAD: Director Business Development Al-Ghurair Investment – Dubai, Sultan AlGhurair called on Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minster Syed Tariq Fatami in a meeting with Member European Parliament, Sajjad Karim.

55


habib-ur-rehman

Equal Rights for all Non-Muslim Pakistanis PDF organizes seminar to promote Interfaith Harmony

A

seminar themed ‘Non-Muslim Pakistanis are equal in words, not in practice’, organized by Peace and Development Foundation (PDF) was held demanding equal rights for all irrespective of cast and creed recently in Islamabad. The speakers of the seminar were include Ms. Rehana Hashmi, a human rights activist, Dr. A. H Nayyar, Dr. Naeem Mushtaq, Ch. Naeem Shakir, Qazi Abuld Qadeer Khamosh, Romana Bashir, Brig. (R) Simon Sharaf and Pervez Refique (former MPA, PPP). While expressing their views, the speakers of the seminar said, Equal citizenry is essence of genuine democracy and hence instrumental to evolve as a forward looking progressive society. Unluckily, nonMuslim citizens of Pakistan have not been provided a level playing field which has been resulted as various kinds of legal and social injustices and prompted extremist trends in the society. On the occasion they emphasised that the nonMuslim Pakistanis must be given equal rights and opportunities which is imperative to evolve a modern progressive Pakistan as it was envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The speakers said that mainstreaming of nonMuslim Pakistanis should be a national agenda for every Pakistani as its key to lay the foundation of a modern, progressive and developed Pakistan. The speakers said that keeping in view various issues being faced by non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan, their charter of minimum demands must be acknowledged and accepted to redress the issue of their marginalization. The participants demanded that hate material against non-Muslim Pakistanis or other vulnerable groups of society, especially in textbooks must be purged out as it is contributing in widening the gap between faith communities in Pakistan. Earlier, Romana Bashir, executive director of PDF explained to audience that this endeavour of PDF is based on the idea of inclusive Pakistan where the rights of every Pakistani are protected regardless of his/her faith or other identities as individuals. Romana Bashir said that in order to promote ideals of equality and pluralism, the concerns of

56

non-Muslim Pakistanis should be taken and necessary legislative and administrative measures should also be taken in this regard. She added further that the non-Muslim Pakistanis residing in Pakistan by choice, are equal citizens of the State of Pakistan, and it is the constitutionally binding obligation and responsibility of the State to ensure this by safeguarding and protecting their fundamental human rights, their dignity and honour. Minority issues should not be taken in isolation as their issues while all issues are our national issues therefore we need to explore way out collectively as a nation. She added further that we should not use word nation for our religious identities because we are religious communities and as a whole we are Pakistani Nation. The dream of a pluralistic society cannot be achieved in its true spirit without weeding out the discriminatory laws and attitudes in Pakistan and for the development of the country people should come out from their self-constructed cocoons and unite for a peaceful, tolerant and just society, she conclude. Dr. A. H. Nayyar while sharing his valuable research on hate martial and violation of article 22 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 with the audience said that a drastic reformation in education sector is imperative to inculcate diversity and pluralism in society. Rehana Hashmi were of view that the present quagmire of religious intolerance in society is result of a constant brain washing process and now it is time to learn from the past mistakes and correct the ill conceived policies. Especially protection measures for non-Muslim women should be taken

and representation of non-Muslim women in the National Assembly and provincial assemblies on reserved seats for women should be insured by the political parties. Ch. Naeem Shakir said that the speech of Quaid on August 11, 1947 was the policy statement therefore for the new state and thus, it should be reflected at policy level of the state of Pakistan. He also added that in 1947 religious minorities were 25% and presently they are 3% which is alarming situation, many people migrated from the country due to social and legal discriminations and insecurity. Qazi Abdul Qadeer Khamosh, Chairperson Muslim Christian International Federation, said that the distorted version of religion has contributed to our present state of affairs. He said that no one should be allowed to impose his/her views on others on the name of faith or beliefs. State has no right to decide faith and belief of any community, faith should be a personal matter. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah has set an example of equal rights for us by giving key posts to non-Muslims in first Constitute Assembly. Dr. Naeem Mushtaq while sharing his views said that social and political issues should not be seen in religious context. Brig. (R) Simon Sharaf, representing PTI, said that non-Muslim Pakistanis have always made huge sacrifices to serve their country and this fact should never be forgotten. Pervez Refique, PPP, was of view that some amendments in the Constitution of Pakistan are imperative to redress the discrimination being faced by non-Muslim Pakistanis.


Workshop to curb religious conflicts in Pakistan Imams and Khateebs urged to play their part for religious harmony

Muhammad rashid

A

workshop to curb religious conflicts and promote sectarian harmony in Pakistan by training the Imams and Khateebs was organized by Peace and Education Foundation, an Islamabad based non government organization recently. The theme of the workshop was ‘Community Leadership Training for Imams’. The main purpose of the workshop was to help Imams through training to understand the principles of tolerance, diversity, and human rights in Islam. The program was participant-centered, interactive, experiential, and facilitated selfawareness and group-reflection in addition to developing critical thinking skills. The Imams examined the issues affecting coexistence among diverse groups in Pakistan today and expressed their commitment to work in their community for peace harmony and stability. Many of the participating Imams have asked to conduct such training at the district level to reach out and train large number of Imam who

by virtue of their position at mosques exert influence in their community and guide people in matters of religion and social ethics. They said, “Conducting this kind of workshops is the way to resolve our problems and promote and make peace and prosperity in our society”. “Mosque Imams and Khateebs can play an important role in promoting peace, tolerance and respect for differences” they added. In the concluding session, a senior Imam from KPK Qazi Wasi ur Rahman acknowledged that I have participated in hundreds of workshops in Pakistan and outside of the country but I found this workshop to be the most effective and relevant to the current need of Imams. Qazi Abdul Qadeer Khamosh, Chairman of Muslim Christian Federation International and Abubakar Siddque, Chief Editor of Diplomatic Affairs distributed the certificates to the participants and shared their thoughts at the concluding ceremony. Qazi Abdul Qadeer Khamosh, while interacting to the participants said that Imams have the capacity to create peace and tolerance or, through their messages, can

incite hate and violence. Abubakar Siddque, Chief Editor of Diplomatic Affairs while commenting over the role of Imams in Islam said “Imams are supposed to be most important figures in an Islamic society. They are the role models of people. Therefore they should play constructive role to restrain sectarian violence and aggression from the society. They should also promote peace and religious harmony among different sects in Pakistan through the message of peace and love. At the end of the ceremony a large number of Imams were agreed by the thoughts, delivered during the workshop. They also committed to work for peace by playing their role in future. Peace and Education Foundation works to prevent, mitigate and transform inter and intra-religious conflicts through education and other non-violent and peaceful means. PEF has initiated a series of intensive Imams capacity building programs that bring together different schools of thought in order to facilitate cooperation in community development.

57


OIC Youth Parliament Model Session at IIUI A first ever program that brings strong recommendations for OIC towards Muslim World

A

n OIC Youth Parliament session, a first of its kind a training program for the students of Politics and International Relations of International Islamic University Islamabad themed “Muslim World in 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities” was held recently at International Islamic University Faisal Mosque campus Islamabad. The session was jointly organized by the department of Politics and International Relations Science IIUI, the Bridge Institute. The session was supervised by the President of International Islamic University Dr. Ahmad Yousif A. Al Draiweesh. Head of Information section of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Mr. Badar Alotaibi chaired the session. Chief Guest of the opening session was Ambassador of Palestine, His Excellency Walid M.Abu Ali. Press Counselor of Egypt Embassy of Egypt Mr. Hatem Mohammaed HasbAllah was the guest of honor. Charge d’Affairs of Libyan Embassy Mr Abdul Wahid

58


ASLAM MUMTAZ

Abu Qaila was the chief guest of the middle session while the President of IIU was the chief guest of the concluding session. The program was formally started with the recitation of Holy Quran. Earlier, key note speeches were delivered by the Dean of Faculty of social Science Dr. Nabi Bux Jumani and Head of Department of Politics and International Relations Dr Noor Fatima. Chairman of the Bridge Institute and Chief Editor of Diplomatic Affairs Abubakar Siddique shared his view about the role of Muslim youth in making OIC as an effective platform. Ambassador of Palestine Waleed Abu while addressing in the session said “We should provide our youth best educational opportunities, Palestinian Govt. would be found all available for sharing the experiences of its youth and children parliaments any time” Waleed Abu Ali said. He termed youth as ray of hope for the Muslim Ummah. The program was attended by a large number of male and female students of the Department of Politics and International Relations of International Islamic University along with diplomats of Muslim countries. The Program, moderated by the faculty members and students of the department of Politics and IR, was comprises on various sessions and segments that were presented by the students of the said departments of IIUI in different groups. Topics which came under discussion on the occasion include ‘Role of OIC in combating terrorism, Islamophobia, Palestine and Asian territories and Solidarity and joint Islamic action. The groups of students were well prepared

59


about their topics. They presented their part with full confidence. The guests of honor on the occasion were the diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Libya

60

who graced the whole event with their presence and valuable thoughts. They appreciated the whole idea of the event and said that such kind of events is supposed to be the back bone for

student’s grooming. These programs promote extra curriculum activities among students which need to promote in future, they emphasized.


The purpose of organizing this program was to train the students about the future prospects and to make them familiar about what is the role of OIC in current scenario towards the problems of Muslim countries, facing these days. What steps OIC need to be taken to resolve issues among Muslim countries? Furthermore the objective of this program was to make this OIC Youth Parliament session for more direct to benefit to OIC and its member states and organizations by taking OIC political and economic agenda further. The idea to organize OIC Youth Parliament session was coined by Mr. Abubakar Siddique, Chairman ‘The Bridge Institute and Chief Editor of Diplomatic Affairs, an eyeful magazine that is working to bridge gap between societies focusing on activities in diplomatic circles. While Dr. Noor Fatima, Assistant Professor and Chairperson Department of Politics and International Relations IIUI, as program moderator took it very serious when discussed and provide her maximum possible assistance and support to make this program successful. For that, we on behalf of Diplomatic Affairs, extend our heartiest con-

gratulations and gratitude to Dr. Noor Fatima, Assistant Professor and Chairperson Department of Politics and International Relations IIUI in particular and the whole coordinating team of the department of Political science and International Relations of IIUI in general, including Dr. Manzoor Afridi, (Assistant Professor FSS, IIUI), Dr. Amna Mahmood (Assistant Professor FSS, IIUI), Touqir Hussain Sargana (Assistant Professor FSS, IIUI), Ms Waeehda Rana (Assistant Professor FSS, IIUI), Dr. Sadaf Farooq, (Lecturer FSS, IIUI) and Masood Ur Rehman Khattak (Lecturer FSS, IIUI).

It is pertinent to mention here that this pro-

of Ummah, they should be committed to excel

gram was unique of its kind that is hosted for the first time keeping in view the critical significance of the OIC and its role for the Muslim World. The program remains fruitful for the delegates and students who seek a chance to learn about what is happening on international arena towards the issues of Muslim world. The program was based on to present strong recommendations regardless of its theoretical perspective by the students through various presentations that what should be done by OIC in future for Muslim world. In the limelight of these strong recommendations and parameters, OIC can do much more to curb the problems and hardships that Muslim world is facing today. At the end of the program, concluding remarks and vote of thanks was presented by the president of International Islamic University Dr. Ahmad Yousif A. Al Draiweesh. He said students are the precious asset of Muslim Ummah and IIUI is striving to provide a solid platform for quality education and nurturing minds equipped with contemporary skills and integrated with teachings of Islam. “Youth is future

in science, technology and students of Muslim countries should emerge as highly skilled and talented personalities” he added. While recalling OIC meeting, President IIUI said it was a benchmark to gather Muslim countries at a platform for cause of Ummah; “such initiatives must be taken to forge unity among our ranks” he maintained. In his vote of Thanks, Dr. Nabi Bux Jummani said politics and international relations are the salient fields to cope with the challenges of time we would have to put special focus on it. He assured that Faculty of Social Sciences would keep arranging such constructive activities in the future. Dr. Noor Fatima paid high gratitude to all the guests and IIUI administration on providing support for arrangement of the session. At the end Department of Politics and International Relations presented IIU Crest to Dr. Ahmad Yousif Al-Draiweesh. The participating students and faculty members were awarded with certificates whereas the guests were presented shields and mementos. Lunch was also served at the end of the program.

61


64


65


66


67


68


UAE’s welfare projects in Pakistan tops one billion dirhams

T

he United Arab Emirates (UAE) economic and humanitarian aid projects in Pakistan have now topped one billion dirham (AED) in three years. In the first two phases of the Project to Assist Pakistan, US $300 million has been distributed in the areas of health care, education, road projects, water supply and other humanitarian assistance. The sources in the UAE Mission here has provided details, of UAE’s recent assistance to Pakistan, on the eve of private visit of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Pakistan. The project was launched on January 12, 2011, to help Pakistan for overcoming the consequences of torrential rain and floods. Swat Valley and north-western areas of the country were devastated by the seasonal floods that wrecked infrastructure, leaving behind the debris of destroyed bridges. Four road and bridge projects worth $121.58 million have been implemented, including the reconstruction of two flood-wrecked bridges over the Swat River and building two new roads in southern and northern

Waziristan. The sources said that a major infrastructure project was the reconstruction of the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge that was built 40 years ago. It was destroyed by floods, leaving many villagers cut off. It was rebuilt at a cost of $10.51 million. It is considered the most important bridge in Khyber PK, a main artery for residents and a vital link to the provincial highway. The bridge, 330 metres long, 10 metres wide and six metres high, has a capacity of more than 5,000 vehicles a day and serves about 70,000 commuters. Anti-erosion, rust and humidity reinforced concrete bases support the bridge, which was supplied with a solar powered lighting system. Management and operation facilities were built, and a pedestrian lane was added. The project cost $12.46 million, the sources added. The sources reminded that the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge was 448 metres long, 10.7 metres wide and seven metres high can accommodate 4,000 vehicles a day and serves two million commuters in an area of 1,235 square kilometres. It is viewed as the largest and most modern development project in Pakistan. The sources said that the 50km long and 9-m wide Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road had five bridges, 105 sewers, side protection walls and 16.8km-long cement beams. The gross cost of the road amounted to $38.01 million. The MakeenMiranshah Road is a modern development project t h a t links M a keen in the north

of South Waziristan with Miranshah in the northern Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata) and serves the residents of three towns and 20 villages. The 72km long and 9-m wide road cuts through one of the most difficult mountainous areas crosses over 10 bridges, each 10.4 metres wide. The bridge, which has 172 sewers, side protection walls, and 26.2 km long cement beams, cost $60.6 million, the sources said. The sources said that 60 educational projects that included schools, institutes and academic technical colleges for male and female students in remote areas. Eight health projects were carried out to build hospitals, health clinics and medical institutes. Water supply projects included setting up 76 water treatment and purification plants and extending potable water pipes. Diseases and epidemics went viral in Swat Valley because of the destructive floods. To protect children against disease, the plan provided serums and organized anti-measles and infantile paralysis campaigns in the area, the sources said. In September, 2012, twenty thousand children were inoculated, and a plan was laid out to implement the initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, to bring the epidemic under control, prevent health hazards of floods and natural disasters and support international efforts to eliminate these diseases. The aim was to provide inoculation against infantile paralysis to 11 million children from 2013 to 2015 at a cost of $50 million. These campaigns are expected to reach 11 towns and villages in Khyber PK and 13 towns and villages in Fata for three years. The plan provided 63,000 baskets of food worth $3.138 million to the homeless who were hit by floods and military operations in 2012 and 2013. Fifty-five tones of dates were distributed to various areas and provinces. In 2012 and 2013, a total of 60,000 school bags filled with supplies and notebooks with an introduction to the UAE were distributed to the towns and villages in the Swat Valley, the sources said.

69


Mujahid Group of Industries

Abubakar Siddique

“We are promoting Pakistani Brand beyond the borders”

M

r. Atif Ikram Sheikh is one of the brilliant sons of Mr. Muhammad Ikram Sheikh who is Chairman of Mujahid Group of Industries. He is a prominent business tycoon and Director Marketing and Finance of Mujahid Group of Industries. He was being awarded by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2009-2010 and by the President of Pakistan in 2011-2012 on his meritorious services in the field of business and Marketing. He is a prominent name in the field of ghee and cooking oil. Since 2000, he got excellence in other fields like in steel, oil refinery, soup and detergent. With extra ordinary qualities, Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh is a blue eyed young guy of only 32 years. He was born on 15th December, 1982 in Rawalpindi. He has extra ordinary academic and professional record as he holds Master degree and various professional diplomas in the field of management and industrial production. DIPLOMATIC AFFAIRS has recently taken an opportunity to grab his views on something about his achievements and personal life. His views and thoughts that he shared for Diplomatic Affairs exclusively would in fact be thought provoking for our readers. Let’s see what he thinks and how he accomplishes success in a short span of time? Mr. Atif Akram Sheikh, while talking about

70

his ventures and joining this field of business said that my father Mr. Muhammad Ikram Sheikh started this business in 1979 and in 2000 I joined the group under the mentorship of my great father and other elders of the family. Currently Mujahid Group of Industries is varied in diverse fields such as ghee and cooking oil, steel, oil refinery and import and export of its various products to other countries. He also said we are operating in almost all big cities of Pakistan like Karachi, Lahore, KPK Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Our potential buyers are Utility Stores Corporation and CSD as we are exporting a large number of our valued products to other countries mainly in Afghanistan, Gulf States and other Asian countries. Over the growth of business in Gulf States he stated that prior to his engagement; Mujahid Group of industries was just operating in Pakistan while after his arrival it expanded to many States. Similarly, in Pakistan there was only a sole oil refinery at Port Qasim. We have started and established an oil Refinery in Hattar KPK. All this done just because of our strong commitment and good quality of our products! While speaking over the potential of business opportunities in Pakistan he said that in Pakistan there are many opportunities for potential investors and the current government is working too but because of energy shortfall and poor

Atif Ikram Sheikh Speaks to Diplomatic Affairs law and order situation in the country foreign investors are reluctant to invest in Pakistan. He demanded that the government should take steps on security issues and energy. It should also take measures to privilege business community on urgent basis. While commenting on business that started by his forefathers he said, I learned much from my intimates as my father Mr. Muhammad Ikram Sheikh and grandfather Mr. Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh was associated with laundry


business that they started in Rawalpindi after migration from India at the time of partition of Sub-Continent in 1947. As the time was changing, i n dustrial growth in Pakistan was picking up its pace, new ideas in industrial production were also pouring in. They did that what you are seeing today. With primary goal of serving humankind and generous support for the most deserving community in Pakistan, Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh and his industry is playing a pivotal role. Many projects are on record that Mujahid Group of Industries is supporting constantly like many NGOs and children of sweet homes of Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal. It is also working to contribute in the economy of his beloved country. Over the role of Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh as the Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Vanaspati Ghee Manufacturers Association (PVMA) and Chairman Coordination of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce

Industry (FPCCI) said that under these platforms we always work for the betterment of industry and promote good relations with diplomatic community. On the performance of his industry in the field of oil and ghee production, Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh has said that “Mujahid Group of Industries has trained highly and motivated staff in all fields.� He is hopeful that his group will establish an effective chain of distributors and agents for continuous supply of allied branded products throughout the domestic market in Pakistan as well as in neighbor countries. He also said that Mujahid Group of Industries is committed to provide consistently highly quality product in competitive prices to satisfy our loyal and valued customers. We will achieve this by motivating of quality and environmental management system to carry on with our pursuit of excellence in every sphere of activity, without compromising our basic principle and continue to strive for the satisfaction of our customers.

71


President of UAE on a Private visit to Pakistan

Pakistan desires to further strengthen, diversified ties with UAE: PM

P

rime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan attached immense importance to its strategic ties with the United Arab Emirates and was desirous of further strengthening and diversifying the bilateral relations in all areas of cooperation. The Prime Minister said this during his meeting with President of UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Prime Minister Sharif also congratulated President Khalifa for Dubai having been chosen as venue for EXPO 2020 and said that it was a matter of great pride for Pakistan that Dubai has been chosen to host EXPO 2020, and it would enhance the image of the whole region. He appreciated the UAE's investment in Pakistan and progressive increase of trade between the two countries and said that it was reflective of UAE's trust in the investor friendly environment in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is in a good position to meet the future human resources needs of UAE and added that the already more than 1.25 million Pakistanis working in UAE are a human bridge between the two countries who would continue to play a vital role in the development of UAE. President of UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan today in his meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan Sheikh Khalifa expressed his happiness to visit Pakistan and his meeting with Mian Nawaz Sharif, hailing the level of the existing relations and cooperation between the two friendly people. Sheikh Khalifa said: "We are looking forward to further develop the fraternal relations between the U.A.E. and Pakistan and always strive hard to bring benefits to the people of two countries." On his part, Mian Nawaz Sharif underscored that Sheikh Khalifa's visit represents the strong relations and the bonds of love between the two friendly countries. He also pointed out the excellent role being played by the UAE in provision of aid to the people of Pakistan in the form of several projects aimed at improving the level of services in various provinces of Pakistan. He affirmed that Pakistani leadership and the people appreciate the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for this kid and noble gesture.

72

WAQAS SIDDIQUI

During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral relations and ways to bolster them for mutual benefit. They also exchanged views on a number of latest regional and international developments, in addition to other issues of mutual interest. Among those who attended the meeting were members of the accompanying delegation of Sheikh Khalifa, a number of Sheikhs, senior officials and Mr. Essa Abdulla Albasha Al-Noaimi, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan. Earlier, Sheikh Khalifa on his arrival at Rahim Yar Khan was received by Premier Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif along with a number of Pakistani officials in the province. Clad in traditional dresses, two girls presented the dignitary bouquets to Sheikh Khalifa, the arena was decorated with the flags of two countries and welcoming banners. The President of UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was seen off by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Also present were Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, Sheikh Isa bin Zayed

Al Nahyan, Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Sheikh Omar bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Dr. Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and Pilot Staff-Brigadier Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, in addition to a number of Sheikhs and senior officials. Sheikh Khalifa was accompanied by a delegation comprised of Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region, Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Executive Council Member, Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President, Mohammed Habroush Al Suweidi, Adviser to the President and Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, in addition to a number of sheikhs and senior officials.


Belgium celebrates King’s Day

T

he Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Islamabad has recently celebrated ‘King’s Day’ with a festive reception, hosted by H.E. Peter Claes, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, and his wife Alexandra in the garden of their residence. The ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium H.E. Peter Claes, in his opening speech conveyed to the Royal Family his sincere congratulations and warm wishes of happiness, success and prosperity at the service of the Belgian people. “This is the day when Belgium pays tribute to the King of the Belgians and the Royal Dynasty. King’s Day this year had a very special significance. It was be the first celebration in honor of the new King Philip and Queen Mathilde. Indeed, on July 21st, H.M. King Albert II abdicated after a reign of 20 years in favor of his eldest son. The same day, Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant, took the constitutional oath, making him the 7th King of the Belgians, the ambassador said.” Since 1866 the day has been marked by celebrations in honor of the Belgian monarch. November 15th is the feast of Saint Leopold in the German liturgical calendar, while it is the feast of Saint Albert in the Roman Catholic calendar. Belgium’s first two kings and the country’s fourth King were called Leopold. The third King of the Belgians was called Albert as is the current king. Initially, it was called ‘Day of the Dynasty’ or ‘Feast of the Dynasty’. However, an official circular issued in 1953 decreed that the correct name for the festivities is ‘King’s Day’. The ceremony was well attended, with sen-

73

Special Report

ior and junior diplomats, as well as the defense advisors and attaches turning up in full force to congratulate their colleagues. Other guests included government officials, civil society representatives, media men and businessmen. The usual decorations that created the right atmosphere for a celebration were in place lights, flowers and a big backdrop of the capital of Belgium before which the VIP’s stood. Dinner was served and to give a touch of Belgian flavor, apart from the other variety of cuisine offered, there a rabbit stew with apple sauce, which has been prepared at home — a specialty that was enjoyed by the guests who have developed a taste for it. The cake, which is often whisked away into a corner, was placed near the dessert table so guests with a sweet tooth got to enjoy that as well! Our hostess, who is a very caring

lady, saw to it that her guests were looked after and had a relaxing time on this special occasion. Pakistan and Belgium have good bilateral relations. Belgium has an embassy in Islamabad and Consulates in Karachi and Lahore. Pakistan has an embassy in Brussels and Consulates in Ghent, Antwerp and Luxembourg. Belgium is the sixth largest European importer of Pakistani goods, and the bilateral trade between the two stands at close to $600 million. Belgium is holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union — which falls on a rotational basis — for the twelfth time till the end of this year. Belgium is a founding member of the European Union which hosts the headquarters of the EU, as well as those of several other major international organizations such as NATO.


43

National Day of Sultanate of Oman rd commemorated

T

he Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Islamabad has celebrated the 43rd National Day of the country recently. Representatives from all walks of life including diplomats, govt officials, businessmen, civil society and media men participated in the ceremony to pay tribute in celebration of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said’s 43rd year on throne. Federal Minister for SAFRON, Lt. Gen. (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch graced the event as chief guest.

74

H.E. Mr Riyadh bin Yusuf bin Ahmed al Raisi, the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman in Islamabad said that the Sultanate of Oman and Pakistan are enjoying cordial and brotherly bilateral relations. The Ambassador, on the occasion urged more cooperation and friendly ties with Pakistan in future. The Sultanate of Oman is a unitary Islamic absolute monarchy. Oman has been ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said for the last 43 years. The country is populated by over 3 mil-

lion people, with petroleum its main source of income. Oman is also one of the best places for tourism across the Arab States. The coal refineries and the city of Salalah, the north of which bordered mountains, and at banana fields in the South are the places that attracts people for visit. Oman is popular for its heartwarming people. Oman has been a member of the Arab League since 1971. With its prospering economy. Oman has also opened three free-trade-zones to foreign investor and intend to issue a “30 years


Abubakar Siddique

free tax holiday� to potential foreign investors. The evening was well attended by a large crowd. Pleasant weather added delight on the occasion. The guests were being received on the reception. National Anthems of both the countries were played. The cake was formally sliced in the presence of other diplomats, Military personnel and distinguished guests. At the end of the ceremony, the guests were served with delicious foods and cuisine. On the National Day celebrations of the Sultanate of Oman, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has felicitated the Sultan of Oman and confer best wishes to the Sultanate of Oman. In his message, the Prime Minister said, “On behalf of people of Pakistan and on my own, I wish to extend to your majesty and brotherly people of the Sultanate of Oman, our sincere and warm felicitations on the auspicious occasion of 43rd National Day of the Sultanate of Oman�. During the last 42 years, he said, the Sultanate of Oman has achieved unprecedented prosperity, development and modernization under his sagacious and visionary leadership.

This has completely transformed Sultanate of Oman into a modern and highly developed country, the Prime Minister commented. He said the people of the Sultanate of Oman were benefiting from the fruits of this development and this was a cause of great satisfaction and happiness in Pakistan as a close neighbor and brotherly country. The Prime Minister said the existing brotherly and excellent bilateral relations between Pakistan and Sultanate of Oman were based on strong foundations of common faith and identity as well as shared values and aspirations. He said both the countries had supported each other on regional and international issues of mutual concern. He said under the wise and able leadership of Sultan, bilateral relations have gained strength and substance to the mutual advantage of the two nations. The Prime Minister also expressed pleasure over the contribution made by the Pakistani community residing in the Sultanate of Oman in the development of the Sultanate.

75


76


77


European Union Exhibition

Showcased Technical & Vocational Education and Training projects in Pakistan

78


79


Farewell dinner for ambassador-designated to US

T

o bid farewell to Secretary Foreign Affairs and ambassador designate to the USA, Jalil Abbas Jilani and Mrs Shaista Jilani, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Argentina, Rodolfo Martin-Saravia, hosted a grand dinner at the Serena hotel. The attendance of many senior diplomats and their spouses along with some Pakistanis of influence was ample proof that the guest of honour is popular and the right, professional person to represent Pakistan in a country with which relations follow a seesaw trajectory. Addressing the gathering the host said when he floated the idea of a farewell for the Foreign Secretary there was not a single person who did not like the idea. He thanked the sponsors, CEO Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani and Chief Representative-North Habib Bank, Muhammad Ali — both of whom said it had been a pleasure to be part of the event. Praising Jalil’s diplomatic skills and saying it was amazing how he always found time to interact with the diplomatic community, he added that he was going to a challenging post but would surely do his country proud but he would be sorely missed and the good wishes

80

of everyone in the room were with him. He also appreciated the role Shaista Jilani had played in making her husbands career a success and the manner in which she had steered the Pakistan Foreign Office Wives Association (PFOWA) to showcase Pakistan’s culture and interact with the wives of diplomats. The guest of honour responded by thank-

ing everyone for being present at the dinner as well as the host for arranging it and said he was a great host as well as a great diplomat. On a lighter note he said that the Argentinean ambassador to Pakistan would soon be a Pakistani taking into account his number of years in Pakistan then maybe he could represent Pakistan in Argentina!


It was a befitting farewell. Conversation included some light hearted banter and interesting discussion about the challenges an ambassador faces in different countries but everyone agreed that the PM had taken the right decision this time around. A memento was presented to the Jilanis on behalf of the diplomatic community with the names of all envoys serving here at the time of his departure. Jalil Abbas Jilani was appointed as Foreign Secretary in March 2012.He is a career diplomat and prior to his current appointment, he served as ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union. He also interacted with the NATO HQ based in Brussels on a regular basis. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and M.Sc. in Defence and Strategic Studies. In his professional life, he has specialised in South Asian affairs and remained Director India (1992-1995), DHC and Acting High Commissioner to New Delhi (1999-2003) and DG South Asia and SAARC (2003-2007). In 2005 he also served as the Government’s Spokesman on Foreign Affairs. From 1989 to 1992 he served as Deputy Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. His other overseas assignments included; Jeddah (1983-1985), London (1985-1988), Washington (1995-1999) and High Commissioner to Canberra, Australia (2007-2009).

81


DA Report

70th Anniversary of the Independence Day of Lebanon

T

he Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Lebanon in Islamabad has celebrated the 70th anniversary of its independence from French colonial power recently. Mr. Mohieddine El Tannir, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Lebanon to Pakistan and Mrs. Mona El Tannir hosted a festive reception to mark the day. A large number of ambassadors, senior diplomats, civil and military officials as well prominent citizens of Pakistan attended the reception. The ambassador and her spouse welcomed the guests with profound curtsey and cordiality. The Federal Minister for Defense Production Rana Tanvir Hussain was the Chief Guest on the occasion who was joined by the ambassador, her spouse and other ambassadors in cutting the ceremonial cake. The function began with the playing of national anthems of the two countries. A documentary featuring scenic beauty of Lebanon was being screened during the function. The documentary highlighted places of tourists’ in-

82

terest in Lebanon. It is a fact that Lebanon with its mild climate, green mountains, attractive falls and lush green forests has a great attraction for the world tourists. The geographical location of the Lebanon is also a factor in making Lebanon a popular destination of the foreign tourists. Millions of tourists visit Lebanon every year to enjoy their holidays. The beaches of Lebanon are a great attraction for the tourists. Lebanon is a symbol of interfaith co-

existence as there are Muslim and Christian communities living together in harmony. Pakistan and Lebanon have always enjoyed cordial relations and cooperation between the two countries has been growing over the years. There is vast scope of increasing bilateral cooperation between the two countries in several areas. Pakistan can learn a lot from Lebanon in promoting its tourism. The two countries can also expand economic cooperation and undertake joined ventures in some industrial fields.


83


Special Report

Farewell Reception

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps H.E. Mr. Rodolfo Martin Saravia hosted a Farewell Reception for H.E. Mr. Andrey Budnik the Ambassador of the Russian Federation and H.E. Mr. Adam Thomson the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom

84


85


WAQAS SIDDIQUI

National Day of Romania celebrated

A

mbassador of Romania Emilian Ion hosted a reception at a local hotel to celebrate the national day of his country. A large number of guests graced the function. They included ambassadors of Sweden, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Korea, US as well as envoys of European and other countries. The Romanian ambassador and other diplomats of the Romanian embassy warmly

86

welcomed the guests and freely exchanged views with them. The reception began with national anthems of Pakistan and Romania. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid was chief guest on the occasion, who joined the host and guests in cutting the ceremonial cake. The ambassador of Romania said that he has been trying his best to promote relations between Pakistan and his country ever since

his arrival in Islamabad. He said there is a great scope of bilateral cooperation between the two countries to their mutual benefit. He said the two countries need to do a lot more to increase cooperation in various fields. Both the countries share many things and believe in common human values. “There are possibilities of joint ventures which would server as bridges of friendship between the two countries,� he said.


87


Special Report

Ambassador of Thailand H.E. Tomwit Jarnson celebrates 86th Birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

T

he ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand in Islamabad, H.E. Tomwit Jarnson has hosted a gala reception to mark the 86th birthday of the King of Thailand H.H. Bhumibol Adulyadej. The ceremony was well attended by diplomats and Pakistanis from many walks of life, especially the business community. The guest of honor was Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions, Lieutenant General (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch. The ceremonial cake was cut after playing the national anthems of both countries. The reception arena was beautifully decorated to create a festive atmosphere. A full

88

sized photograph of the kings’ family, flanked by the flags of Pakistan and Thailand was also displayed on the stage. In his address H.E. Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand Tomwit Jarnson said the king had reigned since 1946 and is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest reigning monarch in Thai history. He spoke of the reverence the people of Thailand hold for their king and the many positive steps he had taken for their welfare. He also spoke of the bilateral ties between Pakistan and Thailand and how they had remained steadfast since they first began over sixty years ago. He also recall the recent visit of the Prime Minister of

Pakistan to Thailand where he attended Connect Asia Pacific Summit 2013 and met with his counterpart the Prime Minister the Thailand Mrs. Yingluck Shinawatra along with other key officials. The ambassador hails Pakistan government's efforts to tie up bilateral relations between Thailand and Pakistan. The King of Thailand H.H. Bhumibol Adulyadej also known as Rama IX was born on Dec. 5, 1927. He is the ninth king of the Chakkri dynasty (1950– ), which has ruled or reigned in Thailand from 1782, Thailand’s longest-serving monarch. He was a grandson of King Chulalongkorn and was born while his father, Prince Mahidol of Songkhla, was studying at Harvard University.


89


National Day of Turkmenistan marked

T

o celebrate the National and Neutralizing Day of Turkmenistan, H.E. Atadjan Movlamov, Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has hosted a reception in Islamabad which was well attended by a large number of ambassadors, senior diplomats, officials and prominent Pakistanis. President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan and Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Muhammad Amin Ul Hasnat Shah were the guests of honor who extended their congratulations to the host. After the ceremonial cake cutting the national anthems of Turkmenistan and Pakistan were played which was followed by the screening of a documentary by embassy to highlight historic events of the country and its modern life in term of socio-economic progress. Ambassador H.E. Mr. Atadjan Movlamov is a seasoned diplomat committed to promoting good will for his country. He says that he will explore all possibilities of strengthening friendly relations between Pakistan and his country. He believes that the two countries have vast scope of greater bilateral cooperation in vital fields of mutual interest particularly in the economic areas. The guests at the reception were warmly received by the friendly Turkmen diplomats. They greatly relished delicacies of Turkmenistan served to them.

90


91


Abubakar Siddique

42nd National Day of UAE “We thank our wise leadership for giving us respect worldwide” H.E. Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al-Noaimi, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates spoke out at the National Day celebrations

T

he Embassy of United Arab Emirates in Islamabad has marked 42nd National Day of United Arab Emirates at Embassy premises recently. A grand reception was hosted by H.E. Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al-Noaimi, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in this regard. A large number of people including, career diplomats, High Commissioners, political figures, government officials, civil society representatives, number of senior officials of armed forces, representatives of international organizations and media men participated in the National Day celebrations along with Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Finance and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandela. The ceremony was also marked by the participation of the UAE companies operating in Pakistan. The ceremony began with the playing of the national anthems of each Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the program included a concert band with highlights of the achievements of civilization in the state that have been achieved in record time and development projects and social welfare projects set up by the

92

Pakistan. The Task Force presented the folklore of the United Arab Emirates and rounded forms of folklore and popular patriotic songs impressed the guests. There were distributed publications prepared by the National Media Council of the Renaissance definition of landmarks in the UAE. The ceremonial cake was formally cut in the presence of UAE ambassador and other key dignitaries.

In his welcome speech, H.E. Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al-Noaimi, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates has said, “We recall in this great day the good of the founders of the State and demonstrate the wisdom and vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan harnessing all the potential to provide a decent life and livelihood upscale for our people and our achievements development


unprecedented through the comprehensive renaissance and became the United Arab Emirates in the ranks of developed nations. On this occasion, H.E. Essa Abdulla Al Basha AlNoaimi, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has paid his deepest congratulations and best wishes to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and rulers of the Emirates and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Crown Princes and people of the UAE, wishing to perpetuate the blessing of God Almighty Union and prosperity. In the framework of the development of bilateral relations with the countries of the world, His Excellency said, “ The state is keen to open new horizons of cooperation and exchange of common interests with the Arab countries and provide support and assistance to the people of the states and come to Pakistan in the forefront of countries with which the UAE has close ties. He pointed to the role of the Joint Committee held its eleventh session in Islamabad on 6 and 7 November last year. He led His Highness Sheikh Abdullah

Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs delegation of the State while the side was headed by Pakistani Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs and National Security, issued by the Committee meetings several resolutions and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the securities and commodities Emirates Securities and Pakistan. He also said that the celebration this year marked by the completion of some scientific achievements. Thanks to our wise leadership, where they were able to impress the world to host Expo 2020 in Dubai amid strong competition from countries that have the status of an influential in the international arena such as Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and will return this event benefit the UAE and the region whole. On the occasion, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif has expressed his congratulations and admiration on the 42nd National Day celebrations, UAE achievements and the dissemination of its humanitarian mission to the nations especially in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan has always respect UAE as both the countries have long lasting brotherly bilateral relations since decades. The visionary leadership of United Arab Emirates always stood for Pakistan especially in hard times. We pay gratitude to the whole UAE Nation and the leadership on this auspicious occasion and pray that May Almighty Allah further prosperity and lot of joys in future.

93


UAE National day celebrations in Karachi

O

n the celebrations of UAE National Day, the acting consulgeneral in Karachi Bakhteet Ateeq al Romaith also shared his views on the relations between Pakistan and UAE. “I appreciate Pakistan’s contribution to the evolution of key institutions in the Emirates, such as the armed forces, police, health and education, and we have reciprocated in the same friendly manner,” he said. “As we celebrate this national day, I would like us to

94

celebrate the successes of the deep-rooted ties that bind us, and the endless opportunities that will continue to keep us connected.” The UAE has emerged as one of Pakistan’s major economic and trading partners, he said. “The bilateral trade volume between our countries has exceeded from $7.6 billion in 2012 to $10 billion this year.” “The UAE-Pakistan relationship is not just limited to trade and investment, there is peopleto-people contact and both countries share a cultural similarity like no other,” he said.


95


30th Anniversary of Proclamation of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

96


97


90th Proclamation

of the Republic of Turkey celebrated

T

he 90th Proclamation Day of the Republic of Turkey was celebrated recently in Islamabad. The ceremony was well attended by a large number of peoples including diplomats, politicians, government officials, civil society representatives and media men. The ceremony started with playing National Anthems of both Pakistan and Turkey. A cultural performance was also presented on the occasion. Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, S. Babur Girgin hosted a reception in this regard. On the occasion he said that Turkey is keen to boost its bilateral relations with other countries especially with Pakistan. The Ambassador said, he is working for the promotion of bilateral ties and cooperation in various fields with special reference to the Protocol on Cooperation in Science and Technology signed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ’s visit to Turkey in September this year. He said, both Turkey and Pakistan enjoy close

98

fraternal ties which are deeply embedded in history, religion and tradition. He said there is a great potential to enhance mutual cooperation, business ties and trade between the two countries. He also emphasized the need to learn from each other’s experiences and adopt best practices in different fields like Science and Technology, health, energy etc. During the ceremony, the role of Turkish people in their assistance to Pakistani brethren during natural calamities i.e. earthquake and floods was lauded. Ambassador Girgin also on the occasion apprised the progress lately made in various areas of co-operation between Pakistan and Turkey. The diplomat expressed the optimism Pakistan energy crisis would be over soon as it has a lot of potential and its people are very hard working. He hinted at more investment in transport sector in coming years. He said although the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey has been gradually growing but it still leaves much to be desired. In the


same period of time, Pakistan’s exports to Turkey have shown considerable improvement. However, the current level of trade between Pakistan and Turkey has least relevance to the size of the markets of the two countries. In terms of GDP, Turkey ranked at 17th place is way ahead of Pakistan, which is at 47th place. At the end of the ceremony the participants were amused with delicious foods and cuisine.

99


The Republic of Turkey

T

he Republic of Turkey is a contiguous transcontinental country, located mostly on Anatolia in Western Asia and on East Thrace in Southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries. Turkey’s location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes it a country of significant geostrategic importance. The area now called Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic, including various Ancient Anatolian civilizations and Thracian peoples. After Alexander the Great’s conquest, the area was Hellenized, which continued with the Roman rule and the transition into the Byzantine Empire. The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, starting the process of Turkification, which was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, upon which it disintegrated into several small Turkish beyliks. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The country’s official language is Turkish, a Turkic language, which is spoken by approximately 85% of the population as mother tongue. Turks constitute 70% to 75% of the population. Minorities include Kurds (18%) and others (7–12%). The vast majority of the population is Muslim. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the G-20 major economies. Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the European Economic Community since 1963 and having joined the EU Customs Union in 1995. Turkey is also a member of the Turkic Council, Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Economic Cooperation Organisation. Turkey’s growing economy and diplomatic initiatives have led to its recognition as a regional power.

100


Turkish Airline participated in 30th Anniversary of Proclamation of Turkish Republic

101


Abubakar Siddique

Algeria marks 59th anniversary of Armed Struggle Day

T

he Ambassador of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Algeria, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Benflis has hosted a grand reception in Islamabad to celebrate and to memorize the great armed struggle which was launched nearly 59 years back in Algeria in November 1954 for the Restoration of National Independence. This was the 59th anniversary of that event which was attended by many diplomats, Defense Attaches and Pakistanis from all spheres of life, including politicians, government officials, civil society representatives, businessmen and media men. H.E. Dr. Ahmed Benflis welcomed the honorable guests at entrance. The guest of honor was Minister for Industry, Labour and Manpower, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi.

102


PHOTOS: SHEIKH ARIF

The cake cutting ceremony was held in the presence of dean ambassador and Arab ambassadors. The national anthems of Pakistan and Algeria were also played. A video, screening the sights and sounds of Algeria was played on the occasion which grab much intention of the audience. It was interesting to watch as it showed the different facets of the rich culture, which encompasses the development of literature, music, religion and cuisine and the people of Algeria take great pride in. The ambassador on the occasion spoke of the close friendly ties between Pakistan and Algeria in the economic, political and cultural fields. He said that efforts are being made to enhance further relations between the two countries in various fields. He calls upon Algerian nationals, Pakistanis or foreigners who are either representatives of Algerian companies or agents for Algerian products or services to be ambassadors of Algeria in Pakistan”. Algeria-Pakistan relations are warm and cordial. Pakistan was a strong supporter of Algerian independence even before the inception of Algeria. Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize the “Provisional Government of Republic of Algeria” in exile on September 19th. 1958 under Prime Minister Farhat Abbas and had permitted it to open its Mission in Karachi. The Government of Paki-

stan provided diplomatic passports to prominent members of the Algerian government in exile — among them Ahmed Ben Bella — for their foreign travel. It is worth mentioning here that the team

members of Diplomatic Affairs have actively attended this event where it got much appreciation and widely admiration by the Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of Algeria H.E. Dr. Ahmed Benflis together with other Participants. The honorable Ambassador was to have a high regard for giving extraordinary space to Algeria and his interview in the edition. Diplomatic Affairs which is a well known and reputed periodical, working for bridging the gap between nations was highly commended for its unique style, contents, printing, layout and approach towards national and international issues. Various other hot issues related to current situation in Pakistan were also discussed on the occasion. For dinner along with other different kinds of cuisine, the national dish of Algeria ‘couscous’ was also served — It is a dish of steamed semolina wheat served with lamb or chicken, cooked vegetables, and gravy. This is so basic to the Algerian diet that its name in Arabic, ta’am, translates as ‘food.’ Common flavorings include onions, turnips, raisins, chickpeas and red peppers, as well as salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Many guest’s who have acquired a taste for this specialty, enjoyed having a taste of it again this evening. At the end of event Dr. Ahmed Benflis thanked to all guests, and staff members who were involved to arrange this beautiful event.

103


104


105


106


79


Abubakar Siddique

“Canada in the Fall” Canadian HC in Pakistan celebrated Pak-Canada relations

T

he Canadian High Commission H.E. Greg Giokas has celebrated Pakistani-Canada relations at a ‘Canada in the Fall’ event attended by several hundred local and diplomatic guests, as well as children from a local Islamabad school as the Chief Guests. At the event opening on the Canadian High Commission grounds, Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Greg Giokas, emphasized the importance of giving back to community. He praised two local organizations for their commitment to Pakistan and their efforts to give children and youth opportunities in the classroom and on the cricket pitch. Donations of Rs. 100,000 were made to each organization, Mashal Model School and the Pakistan Cricket Association for the Physically Handicapped. “Children are our future and we must

108

equip them with the tools to face the challenges of today and tomorrow. Both of these organizations exemplify a commitment to building strong, vibrant, inclusive and successful communities,” said High Commissioner Giokas. The students of Mashal Model School warmed the hearts of the audience with their performance of the Canadian (in English and French) and Pakistani national anthems and joined the High Commissioner for a ceremonial cake cutting. Mashal Model School, located in Nurpur Shahan near the Diplomatic Enclave, provides education to around 500 underprivileged children, most of who used to sell sweets and flowers or pick trash near the Bari Imam shrine. The school frequently receives generous donations from Islamabad’s diplomatic com-

munity, including similar donations from the Canadian High Commission in the past which were used in building a science laboratory and bathrooms at the school, Zeba Hussain, the school’s director said. The evening culminated in a performance by the very talented JoSH, a Canadian band with a fan following around the world. Both band members are of South Asian origin: Rup is a Canadian Sikh born in Montreal and Q is a Pakistani-Canadian who moved to Montreal from Karachi over 20 years ago. The band, which has performed hundreds of times in both India and Pakistan, exemplifies the Canadian experience. Fall is an important season for many Canadians as it marks back to school, thanksgiving holidays, the autumn harvest, and the spectacular changing colors of the leaves across the country.


109


110


111


Italian Armed Forces Day celebrated

E

very year on November 4, Italians come together to celebrate ‘Giorno delle Forze Armate,’ Italian Armed Forces Day, a day of national unity to commemorate the Allied victory in World War I and to pay tribute to the Italian Armed Forces, past and present. On the occasion of the anniversary of this day, the Defence Attache Italian embassy, Colonel Emilio Sen, hosted a reception to mark the occasion, while ambassador of Italy, Adriano Cianfarani was also present to greet the guests. The function was held at the Marriott Hotel and attended by defence attaches and advisors of the Diplomatic community in Islamabad and their spouses; Pakistani armed forces officers accompanied by their wives and a few civilians who deal with the embassy for business and bilateral relations. The guest of honour was Deputy CAS Administra-

112

tion, Air Marshal Suleman, while other senior colleagues of his were also present. The strong presence of officers from this arm of the military was probably because the Italian bilateral cooperation in the technical sector generally deals with equipment required by the air force. Addressing the gathering, the host briefly explained what the occasion was all about and why it was marked; hoped that some officers who were away observing or taking part in ongoing military exercises would be able to join them later and hoped everyone would have a pleasant evening. After this the national anthems of both countries were played and the cake was cut. The management of the hotel and embassy staff had done a good job of creating the right ambience for the event — drapes in the colours of the Italian flag decorated the corners of the Crystal hall; there were posters all

around the area displaying images of military equipment and a striking backdrop that commemorated the day in pictures. Dinner with delicious Italian specialties like ‘ravioli;’ ‘lasagna’ and other popular dishes was served but the Italian chef had outdone himself while preparing the ‘tortellini con pancetta di vitello e panna!’ This particular dish was really good and had guests looking for more as word got around it was ‘to die for,’ as they say! On this day in 1918, with the entry of the Italian victorious troops into Trento and Trieste and after almost three years and a half of fighting, the ‘Great War’ — in which thousands of Italian soldiers died because the Italian armed forces fought in terrible conditions — came to an end. The national unification process, which started during the ‘Risorgimento,’ symbolically ended and led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy on March 17th, 1861.


113


Special Report PHOTOS: SHEIKH ARIF

Poland’s Independence Day celebrated

T

o celebrate the independence day of the Republic of Poland as well as the Armed Forces Day, H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Ananicz has hosted a reception recently. Diplomats of many cadres, officers from the Diplomatic Defence Corps, the Armed Forces of Pakistan and civilians from many walks of life attended the reception. It was one of the most well-attended Polish receptions in recent years. The guest of honor was Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch. The Ambassador on the occasion said, working for the promotion of bilateral ties and cooperation with Pakistan in various fields is our primary goal. The government of Poland will always looking forward to enhance bilateral ties and mutual understandings with Pakistan. He said, both Poland and Pakistan enjoy close friendly ties which are deeply embedded in history and tradition. He said there is a great potential to enhance mutual cooperation, business ties and trade between the two countries. He also emphasized the need to learn from each other’s experiences and adopt best practices in different fields of life. Later, a dinner was served with a menu that had a choice for all tastes.

114


115


Cultural exchange:

Muhammad Tayyab

Swiss cheese, chocolates centre of attraction

T

he aroma of melted Swiss cheese, wafting through the air at the Swiss Embassy, did not just excite the taste buds. It also appeared to accentuate the happiness and spirit of generosity which seemed aplenty at the Swiss Food Festival 2013. With the festival, the Embassy of Switzerland in Islamabad continued its annual tradition of bringing authentic Swiss food and internationally renowned Swiss products to the federal capital. Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan Christoph Bubb said food is an important part of cultural exchange. “The food festival offers a unique opportunity for Pakistanis and expatriates to meet and learn about each other’s traditions,” the ambassador said. Switzerland is famous worldwide for its dairy products and chocolates and, among the Swiss delicacies on offer at the festival, the stall serving Raclette — melted cheese with potatoes and pickles — saw the longest queue. “The cheese is warmed so it melts and becomes creamy,” explained Laurent Gross, who works at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and supervised the Raclette stall. “It’s from Valais province in Switzerland, my hometown.” Raclette got its name because of the manner in which it is served. The name of the cheese, Gross said, is derived from the French word racler which means to scrape off. At the festival, Gross and his fellow servers warmed halves of cheese wheels in a device called a “Raclette oven” and then simply scraped off the melted cheese from the unmelted part with a knife, pouring it on boiled potatoes. Gross also proudly presented a “charcoal Raclette oven” which he said was the only one in the world, since he had designed and built it himself. Other food items available at the festival

116

included sausages, cheese cakes and several desserts. People were also seen buying varieties of packaged Swiss cheeses, chocolates, Buendnerfleisch — a kind of dried beef — and products such as Swiss army knives and mugs from different stalls. A lucky draw was also held during the event with Swiss watches and airline tickets being some of the top prizes. An estimated 1,000 people, including guests from the business community, government officials, representatives from Islamabad’s civil society and members of the diplomatic community, attended the festival, which began in the morning and went on till the late afternoon. Families, especially children, enjoyed their food in the shade on a grassy knoll near the food stalls and a kid’s corner offered activities such as face painting to keep the kids busy. The sunny November afternoon provided an almost picnic-like setting for the food festival. “It’s a very pleasant afternoon and everything at the festival is great,” Nari Suleman

Khan, the wife of the Swiss Honourary Consul General in Lahore, said. While Khan said she thought the cheese cake was “out of this world,” Harris Shafique said he loved the carrot cake. Shafique, who works with New Era Watches, a dealer of the Swiss Omega watches in Pakistan, said he had visited Switzerland and was all praise for the Swiss. Bubb said the proceeds from the festival would go to the Mashal Model School, a charity educational institute that educates underprivileged children near the Bari Imam shrine. “We want to contribute in our modest manner to the work of the school’s laudable cause,” he said. From the crowd’s response, it seemed the festival was on its way to raising a generous donation for the school. By 2pm, Marianne Baumeyer at the stall selling Swiss army knives said around 120 knives and most of the 200 mugs had already been sold.


117


Japanese reception to mark emperor’s birthday

A

mbassador of Japan to Pakistan, Hiroshi Inomata, and Midori Inomata hosted a reception to celebrate the Birthday of 80 years old Emperor Akihito, the 125th Emperor of

Japan. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid was the chief guest at the occasion. The ministers, parliamentarians, senior government officials, members of the diplomatic community and other dignitaries attended the reception from the public and private sector. Ambassador Inomata together with the chief guest cut a cake to mark the Emperor’s Birthday after the national anthem of Japan and Pakistan were played. The Imperial Household of Japan is a very old lineage in the world, dating more than 2000 years back, since the foundation of the first Emperor Jimmu in 660 B.C. according to Japan’s oldest history book named Nihonshoki.

118


119


Special Report PHOTOS: SHEIKH ARIF

120


121


Special Report PHOTOS: SHEIKH ARIF

National day of Kazakhstan celebrated

A

mbassador of Kazakhstan H.E. Bakhitbek Shabarbayer hosted a warm reception in a well decorated Crystal Ball of Marriot Hotel to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan . The event was well attended by a large number of ambassadors, senior diplomats, officials and prominent Pakistanis. The guest of honor, Lt General (R) Abdul Qadir Balouch Federal Minister of Frontier Regions also extended his congratulations to the host and joined the ambassador in cutting the ceremonial cake which was preceded by the national anthems of Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

122


123


WAQAS SIDDIQUI

EU approves GSP plus status for Pakistan GSP Plus status shows confidence of the international markets: PM

T

he European Parliament has allowed duty free access to Pakistan in a move that will augment its exports by $1 billion annually amid calls to implement international conventions on human rights, good governance, labor and environmental standards. According to reports, 406 lawmakers of European Parliament voted in favor of Pakistan while 186 others voted against the status at a session held in Brussels. The move will augment country’s exports by $1 billion annually. The GSP Plus status means there will be zero duties on over 90% of all products that Islamabad exports to the bloc of 27 nations. The EU is Pakistan’s largest trading partner. It means that the Pakistani products will now have a free access to the European market. GSP status, which has been granted for four years till 2017, amid calls to ratify and implement international conventions relating to human and labour rights, environment and good governance. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a written statement, congratulated the nation for the achievement. “The award of GSP Plus status shows confidence of the international markets on the excellent quality of Pakistani products,” said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The premier said that gaining access to European markets was the top-most priority of the government as part of the economic development

124

agenda. The status would enable Pakistan to export more than $1 billion worth of products to the international markets each year. “The textile industry [alone] would earn profits of more than Rs100 billion per year,” said the prime minister. He said the increase in exports would resultantly facilitate economic growth and help in the generation of additional employment. “While there is every reason to celebrate this milestone in EU-Pakistan relations, the GSP Plus regime calls for Pakistan to fully implement its commitments under 27 international conventions on human rights, good governance, labour and environmental standards,” said the EU’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark. He said the grant of GSP Plus shows the importance the European Union attaches to its relations with Pakistan. “We have listened to Pakistan’s plea for more trade and not just aid,” Wigemark added. The business community can play a significant role, for instance by ensuring labour rights, employing more women in workplace and making sure that there is no exploitation of child labour. “Improving human rights, including labour standards, is win-win situation for Pakistan and the EU,” the ambassador said. However, he stressed that there is a need to improve the business climate in Pakistan, including access to energy.

In order to compensate for the huge losses, Pakistan had long been demanding the United States and EU give it preferential treatment in trade and investment – a wish that the US has yet to fulfill despite making promises.

Flourishing Pak Economy After this special status, almost 20% of Pakistani exports will enter the EU market at zero tariff and 70 % at preferential rates. There will be zero duties on almost 90% of all products that Pakistan exports to the bloc of 27 nations. Currently Pakistan’s textile exports to the EU, Pakistan’s largest trading partner, draw an 11% duty. Textile and clothing industry – Pakistan’s largest manufacturer industry, will get the utmost benefit of the trade concession as it will enable its products to vie with regional rivals like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who already enjoy duty free access to the international market. The economic analysts believe that textile industry is expected to generate the profit of more than Rs1 trillion per year down to the trade concession. Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports to EU currently account for over half of its total exports to the 27 European countries worth $9.5 billion.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif greets the EU’s Ambassadors

125


Abubakar Siddique

Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry A visionary gentleman who always work to enhance bilateral relations

T

he Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry as Foreign Secretary, replacing Jalil Abbas Jilani who has been appointed Pakistan Ambassador to Untied States. For this stunning achievement, I extend my heartiest congratulations to Mr. Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry warmly. Being a visionary spokesperson, Aizaz have good command over dealing International issues and foreign diplomacy. He is the member of the Foreign Service of Pakistan with 31 years of bilateral and multilateral experience. Aizaz Ahmed grew up in the city of Lahore. After spending some years at PAF College Sargodha, he earned his BS and MA Political Science from the Punjab University of Lahore and MA in International Relations from the Tufts University in Massachusetts. He joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1980, and since then has held various diplomatic assignments in Cairo, Doha, Tehran, Washington and New York. Has received

126

several trainings in public sector management. He has married, and blessed with

three children. It may be recalled that, prior to his ap-


pointment as Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry was promoted to grade 22 and has served as Additional Foreign Secretary to United Nations as well as spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has served as Ambassador of Pakistan to the Netherlands (2009-2012) and represented Pakistan in The Hague based international organizations, including OPCW. He conducted public diplomacy in co-operation with Pakistani community to bring the people of Pakistan and the Netherlands closer. During his stay in Netherlands, He written a book “Pakistan Mirrored to Dutch eyes” published by Sangemeel publications. This book, in fact, is a story of friendship in the land of windmills and clogs, of dikes and tulips, of flower fields and of liberal values—the Netherlands. During his three years as an ambassador of Pakistan to this wondrous nation, he set forth on a journey to promote a broader vision of projecting the soft image of Pakistan in the Netherlands and of promoting understanding and har-

mony, all in an effort to bring our countries and communities closer. He also served as Additional Foreign Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad. Dealing with Pakistan’s relations with South Asia, Aizaz has also been actively associated with the peace process with India. Earlier, he has served as Director General for South Asia (2007-2009). He also represented Pakistan in SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) and was a member of SAARC Programming Committee (2007-2009). He led Pakistan side and chaired several meetings of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) as Director General in-charge for OIC. He organized OIC Conference of Foreign Ministers hosted by Pakistan in Islamabad in May 2007. He has also represented Pakistan in the United Nations for over six years. As Pakistan’s Deputy Permanent Representative and earlier as Counselor, he participated in inter-governmental negotiations in the UN,

NAM, G-77, and other forums on several issues of interest to Pakistan. He also chaired UN parleys on a host of important issues, in particular HRM Reform, and UN Budget (2000-2006). He has also been served as Political Counselor in Pakistan Embassy in Washington, USA (1999-2000). Aizaz participated in India-Pakistan Foreign Secretaries level talks (1997-99), besides serving as Director (chef de cabinet) to the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan in Islamabad. Facilitated expansion/re-structuring of ECO (Economic Co-operation Organization) when he served as chef de cabinet to the Secretary General of ECO, based in Tehran, Iran, (1991-97). Aizaz has also served as Third/Second Secretary Pakistan Embassy in Doha (1984-87). At the end I wish him best of luck in future. I also pray that may Almighty brings lot of happiness and joys in his life! Ameen.

127


Prime Minister inaugurates the Sahabzada Yaqub Khan Building

T

he Prime Minister inaugurated a new Foreign Ministry office building that would be known as the Sahabzada Yaqub Khan block. The Prime Minister was received by the Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister stated that Pakistan wants good relations with its neighbours, further deepen the time-tested friendship with China, rebuild relationship with the United States, based on mutual respect and to solidify its bonds with the Muslim world. The Prime

128

Minister stressed the need for greater focus on economic diplomacy and coordination with other government departments in the pursuit of these goals. The Prime Minister also advised the officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look after the overseas Pakistani communities and to protect their interests. Earlier, the outgoing Foreign Secretary and Ambassador designate to the United States, Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani welcomed the Prime Minister and thanked him for his support and patronage to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was the first line of defence for Pakistan. He also briefed the Prime Minister about the new building while

highlighting the contribution of the Special Projects Division and Administration of the Foreign Ministry, for their untiring efforts in completing work on the new building. The building with a covered area of 160,000 sq. ft has a basement, six reception areas, lobby and a conference hall. The new building will provide space for conferences and accommodate Foreign Ministry offices, which are located in rented buildings and containers. The inauguration ceremony was attended by members of the Cabinet including the Minister for Information and Minister of State for Commerce, diplomats and senior government officials.— DA REPORT



Da january 2014