Islamabad - Ambassador Republic of Poland Piotr A Opalinski has said it was his immense pleasure that his country helped Pakistan in building its missile programme as well as strengthening its defence capacity.

He recalled that the Polish combat pilots took part in the defence of Pakistan when it was in war with India in 1947-48 over Kashmir and later in 1965.

“That is the golden part of our bilateral relationship,” he said while speaking at a get-together, arranged here by the English Speaking Union of Pakistan (Islamabad) at the residence of its President Khalid Malik who is also senior vice president Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

It was largely attended by diplomats and other dignitaries. Prominent among those were Sri Lankanan High Commissioner to Pakistan Jayanath Lokukatagodage, Additional Secretary Foreign Affairs Shah M Jamal and head of public affairs Japanese embassy Katsunori Ashida.

Ambassador Piotr revealed that a group of Polish pilots had actively participated in the wars in safeguarding Pakistan’s national security. “Those pilots are their heroes,” he remarked.

Later, the military-to-military relationship remained excellent and the two sides helped each other in consolidating their defence capabilities. “We had been the strong partner in promoting our air forces,” he added.

The ambassador who earlier served in Pakistan as Deputy Head of Mission was glad that their diplomatic and defence relationship remained steadfast over the years. Poland also tried to take part in Pakistan’s socio-economic uplift, particularly developing its oil and gas resources.

Now, some Polish companies are engaged in helping Pakistan to develop coal-mining industry. His country is rich in mining-technology that could be shared with the Pakistani side. There is also great scope of cooperative partnership in other sectors of bilateral interest as well, including health, he added.

Ambassador Piotr also spoke some Urdu words on the occasion stating he enjoys Pakistani poetry and songs. He considered Pakistan as his second home, as received here warm love and hospitality, he added.

The event was also graced by the ambassador’s wife Jolanta. Earlier, Khalid Malik and secretary of the union retired squadron leader Abid Ali spoke about their recent activities in promoting harmony, mutual understanding cooperation among Islamabad-based diplomats and their Pakistani friends and partners. The ambassador was presented a trophy on the occasion in recognition of his outstanding contribution in strengthening Poland-Pakistan brotherly relations.