ISLAMABAD-People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is the largest country of the African continent and is a gateway between Africa and Europe. 

On November 1, Algeria commemorates the first successfully coordinated attacks in 1954, by the National Liberation Front, against French Colonial rule. To mark the 64th anniversary of his national day the Ambassador Lakhal Benkelai hosted a colourful reception at a local hotel in Islamabad. Federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal was the chief guest while Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz was also among the guests of honour.

The event was attended by various diplomats, ambassadors, politicians and business representatives but the hall was not so crowded due to road blockade by the activists of TLP.

The ambassador Lakhal Benkelai along with his spouse Madame Benkelai warmly greeted all the guests. 

All the Arab and African ambassadors were sitting on the stage in a pleasant mood which encouraged the gesture of solidarity and unity among them. The national anthems of both countries were played and a cake was also cut by the prominent guests.

The current political scenario in Pakistan remained a hot potato among the participants.

One of the participants was of the view that new government was striving to manage the economic crisis in Pakistan but great diplomatic efforts by the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Finance Minister Asad Umer along with the support of Saudi Arabia and China would allow Pakistan to avoid an IMF bailout package.

The Charge of Affair of Jordan and Palestine were also present on the occasion.

The Charge the Affair of Jordan informed that their ambassador, a retired general, was about to arrive in Pakistan a week later. The Palestine Charge informed that the Palestine ambassador would also be in Pakistan soon.

Algeria’s economy depends on natural gas and Energy export. It supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe and has 17th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa. Pakistan and Algeria, the two countries enjoy cordial political and economic relations.  Pakistanis cherish memories of the heroic liberation struggle of the Algerian people that ultimately earned Algerian nation, the triumph. There is a need to enhance more and more trade and energy cooperation.

Zubaida Jalal is a moderate and intellectual lady form Baluchistan. She served as the federal education minister during Musharraf Regime and   there were chances of her becoming the Prime minister of Pakistan but Shaukat Aziz was nominated for the Slot.  Being a role model for Balouch and Pakistan women, her work to improve the quality of education was significant.

Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan she would continue herservices for enhancing defence production.

 She was of the view that the relationship between Pakistan and Algeria is based on mutual trust, goodwill and sincerity. This bond of friendship will grow further and strengthen with the passage of time.

Ambassador Lakhal is a humble and amicable man.  He has been serving in Pakistan for quite a long time. His efforts to promote bilateral relations as well as people to people contact are efficient.

On the glorious event, he shared that there is immense opportunity in trade, tourism, industry and social sectors awaiting investors and business community on both sides.

 Algeria is the biggest country in the African and the Arab world and Algerian exports primarily consist of petroleum, natural gas, and electronics. With a growth rate of over 6pc, Algeria offers excellent business and trade opportunities to the Pakistan.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.