ZAFAR BAKHTAWARI

ISLAMABAD

Morocco has cordial relations with Pakistan, and the embassy and Pakistani authorities work constantly to increase trade between the countries. Both countries are also members of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).

After 44 years of colonization Morocco emerged as one of the most important countries of the Muslim world. Soon after independence, the country started practicing the absolute monarchy. The coronation of the king is commemorated as ‘Throne Day’. It was king, Mohammed V who changed Morocco’s absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy.

To celebrate 18th anniversary of the enthronement of the Majesty King Mohammed VI, Ambassador of Morocco, Mohammed Karmoune was host of the celebration and greeted the guests as they arrived at a local hotel in Islamabad.

Secretary for Foreign Affair Tehmina Janjua on behalf of the government representative grace the occasion and felicitated the Moroccan Ambassador. It was a very nice gesture from Tehmina Janjua as foreign secretary rarely participates in these kinds of receptions. Her presence made the event more significant.

National anthem of Pakistan and Morocco were played and cake was also cut on the occasion. Lt General (R) Abdul Qayyum was also present on the stage.

When I asked the Russian Ambassador Alexy Dedov to comment on the recent decision by the Russian President Vladimir Putin to expel 700 American diplomats from Russia, Dedov replied that Former US President Barack Obama during his last days restricted the movement of Russian diplomats in US and they were not allowed even to go to Maryland and other area where there are Russian properties.

President Donald trump has not changed his stance on this issue and more problems are being created for Russia for its gas pipeline project to Europe. “So we were left with no other option and to move forward,” he said. When Gen Abdul Qayum asked the Russian ambassador about any possibility of the President Putin’s visit to Pakistan, he replied that now Pakistan is a member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and hopefully the next summit would be held in Pakistan and President Putin would attend this summit.

Morocco is a very attractive tourist destination and over 8 million tourists visit Morocco each year. There is a lot of room for the economical cooperation between Pakistan and Morocco. The Moroccan Ambassador paid special attention to invite the business community from all over the country. Pir Nazim Hussain shah (Lahore), Sohail Anjum Ansari (Sahiwal) Khalid Iqbal Malik and Khalid Malik (Islamabad) were also among the prominent guest. The Ambassador of Morroco Mohamed Karmoune while sharing his views said that Throne Day is the 18th anniversary of the Majesty King Mohammed VI enthronement. For Morocco and its entire nation, Throne Day is a very unique day and one of the most celebrated days of the year.

He gave an overview of the Moroccan political system and also highlighted the events of the Moroccan diplomacy.

He underlined the most significant development in Moroccan diplomacy which is the return of the country to the continental organization, the African Union in January 2017 after a 33-year of absence. He further informed that despite the country being in North Africa, Morocco decided to present its membership to the West African regional group Ecowas.

He emphasized the fact that the first Moroccan Ambassador to the actual Pakistan was Ibn Batouta, a Moroccan traveller and discoverer of medieval period.

He is known in Pakistan for his sojourn at various cities and places in the Multan province (present-day Sindh and south Punjab).  Focusing on Bilateral relations he said that Since Pakistan’s independence Morocco–Pakistan ties have traditionally been strong and cordial. These relations are characterized by common views and shared perception on major global and regional issues he added.

Though bilateral ties between both countries are outstanding and hoped to have more growing economic ties in coming days. He lauded the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the federation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Pakistan and the Kingdom of Morocco in the month of March this year.

–The writer is a freelancer