New Japanese envoy holds reception

The new Japanese ambassador, Kuninori Matsuda, and Madame Matsuda with Mr and Mrs Michel Galopin at the reception in Islamabad.
The new Japanese ambassador, Kuninori Matsuda, and Madame Matsuda with Mr and Mrs Michel Galopin at the reception in Islamabad.

The new Ambassador of Japan Kuninori Matsuda and Madame Matsuda, hosted a large reception for the many friends and associates of Japan in Islamabad in the Japanese residence.

The event was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, the Japanese diaspora in Pakistan, business and literary communities.

Ambassador Matsuda said: “This is the first time I have been assigned to Pakistan in my 37-year career in Foreign Service. One month has passed since I arrived here, and I find it ever more fascinating to work in this country. One of the reasons is Pakistan’s enormously rich history.

“In Japan almost all the kids are required to take a class of “World History 101” and the Indus Valley Civilization is one of our favorite subjects; therefore, place names, such as Mohenjodaro and Harappa are familiar to us and attract many Japanese tourists”.

Referring to Buddhist history, Gandharan art and cotton trade which have all had great historical significance, the Ambassador added: “We should look beyond the past so that Pakistan and Japan can work together to realize rich potentials in our future relations.

“I am fully committed to further developing our long-standing friendship through various channels, including government, business sectors, cultural organizations and social sectors”.

Ambassador Matsuda said: “Japan also would like to contribute to strengthening Pakistan’s export competitiveness and diversification of exports”.

Somali students hold cultural festival

Ambassador Khadija Mohamed Almakhzumi (C) with Somali students at the cultural event in Islamabad.
Ambassador Khadija Mohamed Almakhzumi (C) with Somali students at the cultural event in Islamabad.

Somalia’s young ambassador to Pakistan, Khadija Mohamed Almakhzumi, along with the deputy at the Somali Embassy, held a cultural festival in Islamabad.

In her speech, the ambassador expressed appreciation for the cultural work done by the Somali organizations in Pakistan. Most of the Somalis in Pakistan are students, but in Karachi and the larger cities, there are also some businessmen and others doing jobs.

The organizer of the recent event was Puntland Community Organization. Puntland and Somaliland are two large and prosperous regions of Somalia, located to the north-east and north-west of the land.

“Security and prosperity is better in these areas than in some other areas of the land, including the capital Mogadishu. Generally, conditions are improving”, said Abdi Warsame, a third-year law student the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI).

Middle East panel discussion at IPRI

A QAU professor, a retired Pakistani diplomat and the Jordanian ambassador to Pakistan at IPRI’s panel discussion on the Middle East in Islamabad.
A QAU professor, a retired Pakistani diplomat and the Jordanian ambassador to Pakistan at IPRI’s panel discussion on the Middle East in Islamabad.

Ambassador retired Vice Admiral Khan Hasham bin Saddique, president Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), welcomed a large audience to a panel discussion on Pakistan-Middle East relations in Islamabad. The event was attended by diplomats, the media, researchers and students. Speakers were from academia as well as diplomacy.

He said that the US hands-off policy in the Middle-East and multi polarity give room for rebalancing of power with state and non-state actors. He said that Pakistan needs a robust and diverse relationship with the region.

The working session was chaired by former ambassador Zamir Akram. Speakers included Professor Nasir Hussain, director of the School of Politics and International Relations of Quaid-e-Azam University, Prof. Tughral Yamin of Peace and Conflict Studies at NUST-university, and former ambassador Javed Hafeez. The ambassador of Jordan and a senior diplomat from the Palestinian Embassy offered extensive comments.

Several speakers noted that there has been turmoil in the Middle East since the 1980s, and others said that was even the case much earlier. Some also said that some of the current conflicts were likely to subside, including the Sunni-Shia rivalry. “The war in Syria is coming to an end, and the Yemen conflict is not going to last much longer either”, a speaker said.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2019

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