Islamabad - The Algerian War of Independence started on 1st November and lasted for seven years. On this historic day, Algeria commemorates the first successfully coordinated attacks in 1954 by the National Liberation Front against the French occupation. The fight continued until March 18, 1962, when an agreement was made between the French and the National Liberation Front at Evian, France.

To mark the 63rd anniversary of National Day of The People’s Democratic Republic of Algerian, the Ambassador Lakhal Benkelai hosted a well-attended reception at a local hotel in Islamabad.

Politicians, business community representative, government officials and notables from all walks of life attended the function. National anthem of both Algeria and Pakistan were played and a cake was also cut. All Arab ambassadors were sitting on the stage as they waited anxiously for the chief guest but unfortunately he didn’t turn up.

It is the responsibility of the Foreign Office to ensure the presence of chief guest at the reception, as it is significant for maintaining bilateral relations between the two countries. Such kind of incidents of negligence from any official can create a negative impact which is not in the best interest of both countries.

Pakistan and Algeria have deep-rooted historical relations and Pakistan has played a vital role during the Independence War of Algeria and was one of the first countries to recognise the Provisional Government of Algerian Republic.

French Ambassador Marc Barety besides looking as philosopher and thinker takes a keen interest in meeting people and exchanging views.

Responding to a question, he said that before coming to Pakistan, he has served for three years in Iraq and has comprehensive knowledge about the UAE and its issues. The UAE Ambassador Hamad Obaid Alzaabi is comparatively young and has a friendly personality. Unlike many other ambassadors, he is more interactive and seems quite optimistic about future cooperation between the two countries.

Qatar Chargé d’affaires Omar Hassan Jassam Al-Hail was also sitting on the stage with Arab ambassadors. There is a change in Foreign Service Cadre of many Muslim countries and after meeting UAE Ambassador and Qatar Chargé d’affaires, a visible change can be seen in the foreign services of the Muslim world.

Qatar has played a vital role in overcoming the electric shortage, shifting of power generation from oil to gas and plans to decrease the electricity price in Pakistan which will eventually lower the cost of doing business in Pakistan.

President of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has given a message on 63rd National Day anniversary in which he said that 1st November Revolution cemented their national unity and this revolution should remain a unifying legacy of all political, economic and social forces.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika invited the executives of national education and training, men and women of letters and culture, National Liberation War veterans to write and teach their history so it becomes an incomparable chapter.

He stressed that the National Liberation War must also be at the centre of their artistic, cultural and media productions. He recalled the achievements and progress made by Algeria in different fields since the independence and emphasized the need to join forces to preserve and strengthen these achievements, which are only a stage in the national construction.

The head of state also praised the efforts of the People’s National Army, the worthy successor to the National Liberation Army, in the protection of their border from the transnational terrorism and cross-border crime.

He further said that the era of transitional periods is over in Algeria whose political institutions have been preserved with the sacrifices of tens of thousands martyrs.

The head of state said that as part of the implementation of programme and directives, the Government has endeavoured to speed-up efforts for economic development, sustainability of social justice and preservation of the economic sovereignty.

Algeria–Pakistan relations are warm and both have common of views on issues of international importance. The Pakistan government provided diplomatic passports to prominent Algerians facing exile including Ahmed Ben Bella, who went on to become the first President of independent Algeria. Though both countries are cooperating in various fields still there is a need to further explore the possibilities for future cooperation.

–The writer is a freelance contributor