Islamabad - Islamabad: Ambassador of Italy Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani hosted a grand reception here at a local hotel to mark the national day of his country. Rana Tanveer Hussain, federal minister for defence production, was the chief guest. Former Prime Minister and President Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was the most favourite participant of the reception as everybody including diplomats were coming to shake hand and introducing themselves to him. Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and US Ambassador Richard Olson were also attracting the participants.

Sheikh Rasheed was much interested in the unity of all Muslim League factions other than PML-N. However, Chaudhry Shujaat was responding very diplomatically to Sheikh.

Tajik Ambassador Sher Ali Jonov informed that a single country (Pakistan) exhibition would be held in Dushanbe in October this year, which will be attended by federal ministers and businessmen from Pakistan.

US Ambassador Richard Olson is busy these days for his farewell meetings in Pakistan. He had a good time in Pakistan.

Ambassador of Italy Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani made a detailed speech on the occasion in which he covered various aspects of the bilateral relations between Italy and Pakistan.  He said that in August 1948, the first Italian Ambassador to Pakistan landed in the then capital Karachi, thus starting the successful story of bilateral relations between Italy and Pakistan. He briefed about the cooperation and like-mindedness between Italy and Pakistan and said at political level, the two countries share the same vision of global peace and regional stability, both at bilateral level and in multilateral fora. “While ties between Italy and Pakistan are historical ones, we are committed to building up on the past achievements to further cement our reciprocal engagement. It is in this spirit that we expect the Italian deputy minister of foreign affairs to visit Islamabad in a couple of weeks along with a business delegation. Moreover there will be political consultations within the framework of the strategic engagement plan.”

The visit will provide a boost to Pak-Italy political dialogue. It will also provide a boost to the economic interaction, with Italy being Pakistan’s 10th trade partner and an investor in many sectors. Speaking about the cultural cooperation he said that the archaeological missions, restoration projects, co-sponsorship of the three major literature festivals and the links amongst universities are the major highlights. He beautifully summed up by saying that music is overcoming distances, with an Italian guitar and a Pakistani Tamboora, as was manifested in last April in three different cities of Pakistan.

Rana Tanveer Hussain said that Pakistan and Italy have a history of very cordial relations which have developed into strategic partnership over the past few years.

                                       –The writer is a freelance contributor.