ISLAMABAD - It was a house full at the beautifully manicured Spanish garden of Carlos Morales, the Spanish ambassador for Pakistan. The guests had come to say goodbye to the ambassador who has spent more than 3 years in Pakistan and is leaving soon for Spain to take up his new assignment at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Federal minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, chief guest of the event said that it seems like the entire Islamabad had been invited to the event. Carlos Morales is counted amongst the well conversant diplomats in Islamabad. An ardent reader and a bachelor by choice, the Spanish ambassador has an illustrious diplomatic career. In his welcome and farewell speech, ambassador Moris, talked about the export volume that has created leaps and bounds between Pakistan and Spain in the last three years.

He specifically mentioned that he had seen Pakistan getting cleansed of terrorism and becoming secure with each passing day. Guests at the reception too were full of praise for the ambassador who would be missed dearly. The gathering was a mix of politicians belonging from all three major parties and crème de la crème of Islamabad. Apart from Fawad Chaudhry, one could spot Minister for Planning Khusro Bakhtiyar, Senator Shibli Faraz and the newly appointed senator Waseem Shahzad.

The conversations in the garden focused more on Imran Khan rather than on his subordinates. “Yes I voted for PTI and yes I am disappointed. I agree that things will not change overnight but at least the will and plan to change things should be now put in black and white for his voters to satisfy that they should not regret on their decision, “ commented a PTI worker. The diplomats however were more interested to know how the PTI government will handle the verdict of Aasia bibi, whether the courts will acquit her and how they will deal with Khadim Hussain Rizvi. On Naya Pakistan, it seems the diplomatic community is seeing positive signs. Most of the ambassadors from European and central Asian countries are very optimistic on the recent visits of Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi to US, his talks in Tajikistan and his speech at the UN. Guests were treated with Spanish Tapas as well as Pakistani cuisine served in the cool breeze of October.

The upcoming by-elections too were a hot topic of discussion at the reception.  Guests were a bit surprised on the rise of family politics emerging again, even in PTI where Imran Khan had severely criticized the ‘marosee sisyaat’ by PML-N and PPP.  Half of Defence Minister, Pervaiz Khattak’s family is contesting the elections and many are already in the assembly.  Sheikh Rasheed’s nephew and Ghulam Sarwar’s family members are all contesting the by-elections.  It’s also a test of PTI ‘s popularity graph .Their sweeping win will nullify the claims of the opposition that people who voted for PTI  are already disgruntled in less than 100 days.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.