ISLAMABAD - The reception hosted by the Chargé d’Affaires of Republic of Lebanon, Ali Al Ghazzawi on Monday to celebrate country’s independence day was exceptional.

Unlike the routine diplomatic functions, it was exceptional for the host and the guests. For the host it was a great occasion to celebrate and for the guests it caused pleasant surprises. The big surprise for all was the conspicuous presence of Fatima Bhutto, the granddaughter of founder of the ruling PPP late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and eldest cousin of incumbent party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Another pleasant surprise for audience was unusual attendance of senior diplomats from important regions including USA, Europe, Arabs and Central Asia. “What prompted senior diplomats of many important countries to attend this reception which otherwise is a routine ceremonial occasion,” an ambassador of a European country asked while sharing his inquisition over the large attendance of diplomats including new US ambassador Richard Olson and Deputy head of mission Richard Hoagland. It was observed after serious pondering that unusual lull because of Muharram holidays was the prime cause of their large attendance to catch up with latest developments.

Unlike his European counterparts, the US envoy kept himself busy interacting largely with Pakistani guests at the reception.

The European countries diplomats kept them busy chatting and gossips. While the ambassadors of the Arab countries followed the tradition sitting together on sofas arranged for the master of the ceremony Dr Asim Hussain, advisor to the prime minister for petroleum and natural resources, who later performed the ceremonial cake cutting with the host and other guests mostly ambassadors of the Arab countries. After arrival, the Chief guest of the function held at a local hotel started with national anthems of the two countries and was followed by sumptuous meal.

Amazingly, Bhutto who ostensibly represented her mother Ghinva Bhutto in the meantime remained the focal point for many guests particularly the foreign diplomats who cheered her for her writings and poetry.

Ambassador of Argentina in Pakistan and Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Rodolfo J Martin Saravia introduced Fatima to other diplomats. Unlike her cousin Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Fatima has no plans to contest election to reclaim Bhuttos’ political legacy. “I have no plans to contest elections,” was the blunt answer when this asked about her political plans. Well composed and confident the charismatic Fatima said she loves writing and would confine herself to it. While the ruling PPP is set to launch her cousin and party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on December election contest from three seats from Sindh including Larkan, Lyari and Jamshoro.