Ambassador of Pakistan
I arrived in this beautiful country in July 2017. Since then, I had occasionally been interacting with people from different walks of life including Government officials, politicians, academics, economists, journalists, businessmen etc. My interactions with them had been extremely useful, encom-passing various aspects of our bilateral relations. However, the thing that struck me the most was that there existed little infor-mation about Pakistan, especially among the younger generation. The older generation had a relatively better understanding of our rich past and the extensive relations that existed between our two countries in the 70s and 80s. In those days the high-level political exchanges between our countries were rather frequent and bilateral trade was almost three times the present figures. We even had barter trade agreements between our two countries. Romania also helped Pakistan in the construction of its first oil refinery. Likewise, Romania assisted us in the construction of cement plants as well. Romanian tractors were quite popular in Pakistan.
Thereupon, I along with my team in the Pakistan Embassy initiated actions towards creating better awareness about Pakistan with emphasis on its economy, politics, socio-culture, traditions etc. In this regard, we organized the first-ever Film Festival in Bucharest in January 2018 which was a huge success and attracted large audience. The second Edition of this Festival was organized this year in March. These festivals helped us achieve what we could not have achieved even through hundreds of lectures. The Embassy plans to make this festival a regular feature. To enhance people to people contacts, we also targeted the sports sector and the first-ever Pakistan Golf Tournament was organized in July 2018. Golf is an emerging sport both in Pakistan and Romania and I am sure that such tournaments will go a long way in bringing the two peoples together. Likewise, in the economic and political fields, various activities were arranged. As part of our economic diplomacy initiatives, the Embassy organized a Pakistan Mango Festival in July 2019. The event attracted a large number of people who expressed interest in the Pakistani mango which is unique for its sweetness and aroma. We are hopeful that this will help launch Pakistani mangoes in the Romanian market. The latest project in the above regard is the publishing of Pakistan specific Edition of GeoPolitica. This project took time to materialize as we needed a credible local partner which we found in GeoPolitica. I avail of this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the Editorial Board of GeoPolitica, especially Mr. Vasile Simileanu for making this project a reality. Without their support, it would not have materialized. The main aim of this publication is to remove misconceptions about Pakistan caused by media stereo-typing and to present the country in its proper perspective, by highlighting the potentials and the opportunities it offers for collaboration in diverse fields. This publication will certainly help the readers understand the reality of Pakistan and realize that there still exist immense opportunities for cooperation in diverse fields.
The special feature of this publication is the interview of the Honourable Foreign Minister of Pakistan H.E Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi to GeoPolitica. The interview meticulously covers important aspects of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy as well as our relations with Romania. It serves as a guideline for this Mission in its endeavours for further strengthening bilateral relations between our two countries. On my own behalf and on behalf of GeoPolitica, I would like to express my special thanks to the Honourable Minister for sparing time for sharing his vision.
The papers / articles included in this publication have been contributed by renowned think tanks, prominent writers and diplomats both from Pakistan and Romania. In selecting these articles special efforts were made to cover various aspects of Pakistan, including, its geopolitical relevance; its contribution towards peace in the region and beyond; its sacrifices in its struggle against international terrorism; its support for all those fighting for their right of self- determination; as well as its touristic and economic potentials etc. I would like to place on record my deepest gratitude to all the think tanks, such as, Institute of Policy Studies; Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Centre for Global and Strategic Studies Islamabad, Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Sustainable Development Policy Institute as well as individual writers for their valuable contributions. I would also like to extend my special thanks to my senior colleagues, viz. Ambassador (R) Touqir Hussain, Ambassador (R) Shafqat Kakakhel, Ambassador (R) Tajammul Altaf and Ambassador (R) Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry for their valuable support. Without their support, this project would never have become a reality. Last but not the least, I would like to thank my entire Embassy team for all their efforts in ensuring the timely completion of this project.
Our efforts had been to ensure that the material in this publication contain up to date information. However, this was not possible, especially in the context of latest developments in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Hence, the interview of the Honourable Minister as well as the articles on Kashmir problem, which were received at an early date, does not cover these developments.
In the end, I would request the readers to favour us with their views at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help us improve upon such endeavours in the future. Thank you!