“Among all the good things in Pakistan, it is the people I will miss the most,” said Brazilian Ambassador Alfredo Leoni, in his farewell speech at a reception held in Islamabad last Thursday.
“I thank you all and especially the Brazilian and local staff at the chancery and my residence,” he added.
Alfredo Leoni was saying good bye at the end of his five-year stay in Islamabad. He left for Europe the next day, resting in Paris for a few days and then travelling to Warsaw in Poland for his next ambassadorial posting.
“It would be difficult for the next ambassador to fill Alfredo Leoni’s shoes,” said Azhan-ul-Haq Khan, the president of the Pakistani-Brazilian Friendship Association. “Leoni initiated a range of new activities in culture, sports, education and other fields. His friendly and professional attitude was a great asset. Last year’s World Cup in football helped put Brazil on the map,” he said.
“During Alfredo Leoni’s term, a generous, long-term visa system for Pakistani business people was established and it should be made use of it,” Azhan-ul-Haq Khan said.
Sportsman and Portuguese language student Mirwais Janbaz said that he was very enthusiastic about Brazil. He visited the country for a month, earlier this year, to practice his Portuguese language skills following the completion of a course at the embassy in Islamabad. He also learnt the art of Capoeira, a Brazilian sport which involves wrestling and athletic dance performed with music.
Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2015