ISLAMABAD - October 28 is a day that celebrates the formation of the sovereign state of Czechoslovakia after the First World War, when the country officially gained independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Now Czech Republic is moving towards   advancement, prosperity and growth rapidly.  The year 2018 is an especially important date as it marks exactly 100 years since Czechoslovakia was formed back in 1918. To mark the 100th anniversary of Czech statehood the ambassador Jan Füry hosted an elegant reception at the Serena Hotel, Islamabad.  Federal Minister for Power Omer Ayub khan graced the occasion as the chief guest. The reception was attended by diplomats, Pakistani officials, members of the business community and civil society. National anthems of both countries were played and a cake was also cut on that occasion. 

There was a clash of events as the Turkish Republic day and Czech National day receptions were held on the same day and majority of the participants were trying to rush from one event to the other. It made the atmosphere of the event a bit uncomfortable for the participants. It would be more appropriate if all the ambassadors would look into such inconveniences and the dean of the diplomatic corps could reserve different dates for every country’s national day reception. Participants were engaged in discussion on various issues and the informal discussions between them were very lively. One of the guests while commending the Chaudhry family of Gujrat said that it has made a great return to the national politics. As Chaudhy Salik Hussain son of Ch Shujat Hussain, Ch Monis Elahi son of Ch Pervaiz Elahi and Ch Hussain Elahi son of Ch Wajahat Hussain have made a remarkable success in the national assembly of Pakistan. “Man Proposes, God Disposes”, is an old saying illustrating the principle of sovereignty of God over human life, and their victory in recent elections is an example of it as huge efforts were made by all the stake holders of Pakistan to keep the Chaudry family out of politics. Ch Shujaat Hussain is the most influential and wise politician of Pakistan. He knows the art of carrying everyone together and presently he is the only politician who can gather all the political leaders at one platform and come forward with a fruitful outcome

There was also good news among the participants that Seemi Ezdi had been awarded the senate ticket by PTI. It is a good decision by PM Imran Khan as Seemi Ezdi has a charismatic personality and impressive presentation with great wisdom and intuition. She has the potential to make a positive contribution in Pakistani politics.

Omar Ayub Khan is a highly-experienced Pakistani politician who graced the occasion as a chief guest. He has expertise of running political affairs since he served as the Minister of State for Finance from 2004 to 2007. He is modest and a man of vision. He has inherited these qualities from his grandfather Former president Field marshal General Muhammad Ayub khan while his wife is the granddaughter of the former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The strong genes of great vision, courage, wisdom and tolerance can be evident in the next generation. While addressing the guests at the event he said that trade is a great source to bring the two countries together.  He emphasized on the need to extend the ties from trade and economic domain to cooperation in the field of energy. Pakistan’s energy sector, he said is welcoming investors and hoped that the Czech Republic would explore Pakistan’s energy sector for both investment and joint collaboration. He further added that Pakistan has a great potential to grow and its energy market will witness major expansion in the coming years and would introduce reforms to expand its energy sector. He hoped that our ties will grow more in the near future. Jan Fury has a friendly and charismatic personality. His efforts to promote bilateral relations between Pakistan and Czech Republic are exceptional. The charisma of his influential personality and persuasive content of his speech made everyone in awe of his speech in which he said 2018 is truly a very especial year for all Czech people back home, in the heart of Europe, as well as around the world. He said that the year 2018 represents a great opportunity for us to explore, where we are heading to, while reflecting on the twists and turns of the past 100 years.  “When we look back at the past century of life in the centre of Europe, we will witness many events such as the establishment of Czechoslovakia on Oct 28 1918 when the shared desires of Czechs and Slovaks for a sovereign state became a reality, the boom years of economy and culture in the so-called first republic, the Nazi occupation during WWII, the decades of the communist rule started in 1948 and ended by the Velvet Revolution in 1989, the velvet split between the Czech Republic and Slovakia on Jan 1 1993 and finally, the membership of both sovereign states in NATO and the EU on May 1, 2004”, he said.

He said Pakistan has been a part of the Czech story for almost 70 years. “To celebrate our friendship we started our festivities last week on Wednesday with the opening of Czech Hospital in Arandu, Gilgit Baltistan, we continued in Lahore and Batapur, where the famous Czech entrepreneur Tomas Bata had built his first shoe factory in the subcontinent. On Saturday we continued in Karachi, where our Embassy was originally established soon after Pakistan came into existence. Here in Islamabad I’d like to invite everyone for an exhibition on how Czechoslovakia was created and about great Czech men and women, who made our country well known around the world,” he added. He further informed that they will continue with a grand opening of the first ever honorary consulate of the Czech Republic in Peshawar. “We will celebrate new chapters of the Czech story which we are currently writing; chapters on building a prosperous nation committed to freedom and democracy, on being a reliable and responsible ally with a desire for peace. Despite all the negative vibrations we are experiencing today, chapters on imagination, innovation and clever solutions so often come from unexpected places”, he said.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.