European Union Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain and his wife Sonia Cautain hosted a large farewell event at their residence in Islamabad last week, with guests from the diplomatic corps, the government, NGOs, the private sector, the media, and other friends.
In his speech, Ambassador Cautain thanked the embassy and residence staff, including security personnel and the police. Since there had been a little fire accident at the residence the evening before the farewell reception, he also thanked the fire brigade for its prompt response.
In her speech, Ms Cautain thanked teachers and fellow students at Quaid-i-Azam University, where she had successfully completed a two-year masters in gender studies.
Ambassador Cautain said that he would soon be behind a desk at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, expressing some worries about that after 14 years in Pakistan and Afghanistan, plus postings to three another countries further south in the region.
“He would be a great trainer of EU staff, a committed and experienced aid worker of the old school,” said a retired Pakistani diplomat.
Before work at the EU Headquarters begins, there will be some vacation time for the Cautains at home in France. Jean-Francois said his wife owns a restaurant there, and she has promised to have Pakistani and fusion dishes on the menu, served by their son who is back from his climate change studies in Norway.
Ambassador Cautain and Ms Cautain bid farewell by saying it was not really a ‘good bye’ as they promised to be back on holiday in Pakistan soon, next year or the year after.
Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2019