Scholarship recipients given farewell

Recipients of the MEXT scholarships pose with Japanese Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda at the reception in Islamabad.
Recipients of the MEXT scholarships pose with Japanese Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda at the reception in Islamabad.

Ambassador of Japan Kuninori Matsuda hosted a reception at his residence to bid farewell to MEXT scholarship recipients of the year.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT) has granted research scholarships for masters and doctorate degrees to 10 students for 2019.

Mr Matsuda recognised the presence of some of the oldest members of the MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP), thanking them for their support and presence at the event.

Speaking to the grantees, he said: “The hospitality and friendship of the Japanese people is no less warm than that of the people in Pakistan. Just have the courage to ask any Japanese who is on the street, and they will help you. If they don’t help, they are not Japanese.”

MAAP President Dr Nasir Mahmood Khan said: “Japan is not only great in academics, science and technological advancements, but also rich in culture and in practicing ethics.”

Tunisian Independence Day celebrated

Ambassador Adel Elarbi, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Mehboob Sultan and other dignitaries cut the ceremonial cake on the occasion of the 63rd Tunisian Independence Day in Islamabad.
Ambassador Adel Elarbi, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Mehboob Sultan and other dignitaries cut the ceremonial cake on the occasion of the 63rd Tunisian Independence Day in Islamabad.

Ambassador Adel Elarbi and his wife welcomed guests to Serena Hotel to celebrate the 63rd Independence Day of their country on March 20. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Mohammad Mehboob Sultan was chief guest on the occasion.

The ambassador and minister praised the good relations between the countries and they drew attention to the potential for increased trade and further deepening of cooperation.

Tunisia and Pakistan are Muslim countries and are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). They stay together in international forums on most issues.

Ambassador Elarbi said that the Tunisians still remember that Pakistan had supported the country in its liberation movement, which led to independence from France in 1956.

The Tunisian Revolution of 2011, which inspired the Arab Spring, has resulted in improvements in basic social and human rights in the country of 12 million people.

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 for its contribution to building a peaceful, pluralistic order in the country.

Canadian envoy hosts reception

Minister of State Zartaj Gul speaks at the Canadian High Commission reception in Islamabad. High Commissioner Wendy Gilmour is also seen.
Minister of State Zartaj Gul speaks at the Canadian High Commission reception in Islamabad. High Commissioner Wendy Gilmour is also seen.

High Commissioner of Canada Wendy Gilmour hosted a reception celebrating International Women’s Day at the Official Residence to launch ‘Canvas for Change’, an enterprise by women entrepreneurs making canvas bags to replace single use plastic.

The ambassador said: “The Canvas for Change is at its heart a reusable shopping bag project which we are launching here with many other similar initiatives in Pakistan to get people away from single use plastic bags. This is also in honour of International Women’s Day, and to support Canada’s Action Plan to fight against Climate Change and it is in solidarity with Pakistan’s Clean, Green Pakistan Campaign which I think is a wonderful initiative.”

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul spoke about the slogan ‘Power to Her’, and said: “When any woman wants to be a politician, she is given a little bit of space and a reserved seat; they do not think to give her a ticket so she can contest direct elections. Your ideology and policies must be implemented and reflect in your actions.

Captain of the Girls’ Cricket Team Sana Mir said: “When I was growing up there was not much for women in sports in Pakistan. I still remember a photograph of myself in school in a karate programme and we were holding up posters – all the people on stage with me were boys, all the posters had pictures of men. We did not grow up with female sports icons and to become someone like that was difficult.”

— Text and photos by Syeda Shehrbano Kazim, Mohammad Asim, Atle Hetland & M. Ramzan

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2019