islamabad - The attendance at any national day reception is basically a litmus test of the diplomat’s public relations in the capital and Istvan Szabo, ambassador of Hungry in Pakistan, passed it with flying colours.

The beeline at the reception to celebrate 60 years of the Hungarian Revolution also gave an opportunity for the guests to get a momentary look on the pylon stands erected along the entrance to the hall with photographs and little brief of the events that unfolded looking back at the Hungarian history.

The buzz in the hall was the Supreme Court’s hearing on Panamagate, Imran Khan’s lockdown, appearance of prime minister and his three children in the Supreme Court and not to forget the upcoming retirement of the Army Chief and of course Cyril Almedia.

One ambassador from Central Asian States seemed to be toeing PML-N line. “Imran Khan is a disappointment. He is not letting the government work and even diplomats find it hard to plan visits of their officials to Islamabad. How can we call our officials all the way from our country to come and talk on business, joint ventures and collaborations when the capital is locked down and most of the cabinet is busy dealing with the sit-down,” claimed the agitated ambassador. It seemed he was not the only one.

A former minister of state had his own theory on IK. “These sits-ins, processions and strikes are part and parcel of the opposition’s unwritten mandate.

They need to show their strength as well because five years is a long time sitting on opposition benches and only making speeches in the house. They need to get out showing that they are very much alive and kicking,” said the former PPP minister of state giving his very own analysis.

However, he did agree to the argument that the ruling government always has an edge as it announces development schemes, cut ribbons here and there and being in the government also implement a few schemes and honour some of the many promises.

Aftab Sherpo accompanied by his MPA son was the only prominent political figure in the event. He was surrounded by a few retired generals and some media wizkids as well looking for a scoop.

Many guests were of the view that all is well in the federal capital. Mayor of Islamabad too was tight-lipped when asked to comment on arrangement for November 2. Either he didn’t want to spill the beans or maybe he has not been taken into confidence yet on the plans and preparations since he is a newcomer on the job.

Ambassador Szabo, in his welcoming speech focused on the support by the government of Pakistan when Hungary needed the most.

“Very few people remember today that in the UN, Pakistan consistently condemned the Soviet military intervention and voted two UNGA resolutions demanding the Soviet troop withdrawal from Hungry”.

Accolading the services of Agha Shai, who was the Deputy Head of Pakistani UN Mission at that time, the ambassador said, “We pay tribute to his memory and shall always keep in mind this valuable support of the Pakistani government.”

Videos of Pakistani-Hungarian rock music group “The Wild Mangoes” and Hungarian cultural dance performance by a local Pakistani group enthralled the audience apart from the famous Hungarian culinary delight Goulash, a stew of meat and vegetables and meat balls with potatoes.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.