Italian National Day Celebrated

ISLAMABAD – Italian national day is celebrated on June 2 every year. It marks the day when the Italians voted to end the monarchy in 1946 and chose to transform their country into a republic.

To mark the Italian Republic National day the ambassador of Italy Stefano Pontecorvo and his wife Lidia Ravera Pontecorvo hosted a remarkable function at a local hotel in Islamabad. Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman , was the chief guest while Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz Choudhry, Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan and Federal Minister for Postal Services Maulana Ameer Zaman also graced the occasion as the esteemed guests. The event commenced with the National Anthem of both countries and a cake was cut as part of the celebrations. Some of the other guests who attended the event included ambassadors, politicians, government officials and business community representatives.

The fast changing political scenario and most importantly the upcoming general election of Pakistan was the main topic of discussion among the attendees. Some were of the view that PMLN supporters won’t be able to give their required support this time. Former Federal Minster Dr Shehzad Waseem from PTI seemed quite hopeful of Imran Khan’s Campaign and opined that the outcome of PTI’s efforts will be fruitful in the next upcoming election.

Participants admired the arrangements of the ceremony and relished the different segments of the event. A colourful dress show was also held in which models represented 200 years Old Italian fashion. A musical performance by Daniyal Zafar and an Italian singer was also part of the event.

President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Sheikh Amir Waheed while talking about a 300 member delegation’s visit to turkey in June said that he was of the view that this visit would open a new avenue of cooperation between the two countries in the field of economy and trade.

Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman gave a speech on this occasion in which he said that Pakistan regards Italy as a friend and a reliable partner.  He said that, “We deeply value our relations with Italy, both bilaterally and within the context of the European Union. Pakistan and Italy have commonality of views on a host of regional and global issue particularly on terrorism and UN Security council reform.”

 He further said that Italy has played a significant role in Pakistan’s development process including the construction of water reservoirs and the energy sector during the early days of Pakistan. The people of Pakistan fondly remember Italian assistance in Civil Engineering work for the Tarbela Dam Project. Focusing on bilateral trade between two countries, he said that Pakistan and Italy’s bilateral trade remains in the range of US $ 1 billion. There is a substantial potential to expand the bilateral trade. 

He also added that Italy is Pakistan’s third largest trading partner in Europe after United Kingdom and Germany and ranks among the top ten globally. The government of Pakistan is firmly committed to strengthen the economic and commercial ties with Italy.

He said that the Italian expertise in wind, solar energy as well as hydroelectricity project offers a great scope of cooperation. Regarding the automobile industry he said that Italian cars and motorcycle makers may consider Pakistan for their products. Pakistan‘s new automobile policy offers various incentives to new comers in the market. Pakistani Italians he said are an effective bridge between our two countries. There are more than 130,000 Pakistanis residing in Italy who are contributing positively to the Italian economy.  He wished peace and prosperity for the people of the Italian republic.

The ambassador of Italy Stefano Pontecorvo also delivered a speech in which he thanked all the organisers for making the event successful. He said Pakistan and Italy has friendly and cordial relations. Both are cooperating in various fields but still there is a need to explore more possibilities of cooperation in the future.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.

 

 

 

ZAFAR BAKHTAWARI

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