Ambassador Mohamed Ebrahim Mohamed Abdulqadar and Mrs. Abdulqadar welcomed a large number of guests to celebrate Bahrain’s national day at the beginning of the week.
The chief guest at the dinner reception was Riaz Hussain Pirzada, federal minister for inter-provincial cooperation.
Bahrain is a small country and its population is below 1.5 million, including over one-third of them being foreign workers, including about 60,000 from Pakistan.
Bahrain is an island state in the Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia to the west, Iran to the north and Qatar to the southeast. Bahrain is seen as a post-oil economy, with heavy investments in other sectors, in particular banking and tourism. It is a high-income country with a gross national product (GDP) of about $35,000 billion, nearly $30,000 per capita.
Bahrain is a constitutional kingdom, with a unitary parliament. In recent years, following the Arab Spring, the country has experienced sustained political protests, with large demonstrations in the capital Manama, mainly by the majority Shia population.
Bahrain has a rich history, belonging to the ancient Dilmun civilisation and became one of the first Muslim countries. It was under Portuguese rule for a hundred years from 1521. Before Bahrain’s independence in 1971, it was a British protectorate for about a hundred years.
“Today, Bahrain is a modern country with a cosmopolitan touch. But it has not yet developed its democratic institutions sufficiently,” said a former Pakistani foreign worker at the reception.
When the King of Bahrain visited Pakistan in March 2014, he signed several agreements with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to boost bilateral cooperation and trade between the two countries, including in military fields. Currently, the trade volume between the countries is about $400 million, targeting to reach one billion within a few years.
In a message on this year’s national day, Ambassador Abdulqadar expressed deep satisfaction with the ties between Bahrain and Pakistan, rooted in common faith, culture and faith, transforming the societies into the more modern and advanced ones.
Published in Dawn December 22th , 2014