islamabad - First Lady Begum Mehmooda Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday said that vibrant nations get actively engaged with contemporary cultures to keep themselves abreast with new trends and learn good things from others to develop their own societies.

Addressing at the annual charity bazaar of the Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mehmooda said that such events helped promote informal diplomacy and enhanced harmony and brotherhood among nations .

 Begum Mehmooda commended the PFOWA for effectively discharging its responsibilities in highlighting Pakistani culture at the global level besides carrying out welfare activities to assist the underprivileged families belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She expressed satisfaction that the PFOWA charity bazaar had provided a good opportunity to diplomats of different countries to learn about each other’s culture.

She said it was heartening that the PFOWA’s scope was expanding as the number of women at the Foreign Office at present had grown significantly as compared to the past.

She said that for the first time in the country’s history, the Foreign Office was headed by a woman foreign secretary, which was an ample proof that Pakistani women were actively participating in every field along with their male counterparts.

Begum Mehmooda announced Rs0.5 million for the PFOWA on behalf of the President House and also visited different stalls set up at the bazaar.   

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said the holding of bazaar was special to mark the 70th anniversary of the PFOWA foundation in 1947 by Shaista Ikramullah.

She said that the bazaar brought together a variety of culinary taste from different countries and traditional artifacts besides holding welfare activities with a noble cause.

President PFOWA Dr Ayesha Haq said that PFOWA’s reach had stretched to hundreds of low-income families that also helped them during disasters and in arranging marriages of their children.

The PFOWA charity bazaar held at the lawns of ministry turned out a ‘cultural hub’ that showcased stalls by diplomatic community from countries including China, Russian, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh,  Iran, Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Palestine, Portugal, Romania, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

In the segment ‘parade of nations’, the children of diplomatic staffers, adorning cultural dresses of their respective countries, presented beautiful tableaus and waved their national flags.