Pakistan: land of peace, prosperity, and possibilities

March 23, 2023 - 09:11
Pakistani ambassador H.E. Mrs. Samina Mehtab wrote to Việt Nam News on Pakistan's National Day (March 23)

Pakistani ambassador H.E. Mrs. Samina Mehtab wrote to Việt Nam News on Pakistan's National Day (March 23)

Today marks the 83rd anniversary of the historic day of March 23, 1940, when Muslims of the Subcontinent passed the Pakistan resolution. The Pakistan resolution embodied their just demand for carving out an independent state from Muslim-majority areas of the subcontinent. The Pakistan resolution gave the much-needed impetus to the Pakistan movement in 1940 and delivered the “Land of Pure: Pakistan” for Muslims of the subcontinent after a historically short but painstaking struggle of seven years.

On this momentous day, I would like to pay tribute to our forefathers for their untiring efforts for giving us the greatest gift of freedom. Pakistan, our beloved country, is undoubtedly a dream come true for the Muslims of the subcontinent. I also would like to take today’s opportunity to pledge to make unity, faith and discipline the bed rock of our polity and cornerstone of our national ethos.

Today, Pakistan is a vibrant nation of over 200 million people. Despite a plethora of internal and external challenges, the people of Pakistan have time and again astonished the world with their unmatchable talents and dedication. For instance, Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation proudly runs the world’s largest volunteer ambulance service. Moreover, Pakistani city Sialkot produces over half the world’s footballs. It is noteworthy that official footballs in the last two FIFA World Cups were made in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar speaking at a meeting on the sidelines of the 77th UNGA Session in New York. She was Pakistan’s youngest Foreign Minister during her last term in 2011. Almost one-third of Pakistan’s diplomatic corps is comprised of women including the incumbent Foreign Office Spokesperson. — Photo courtesy of the embassy

Moreover, Pakistani women are excelling in all walks of life. At the young age of nine, computer programming prodigy Arfa Karim became the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional. Pakistan is also home to the youngest Nobel Laureate, Malala Yousafzai. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Pakistani journalist and filmmaker, is the only female film director to have won two academy awards by the age of 37.

Pakistan has been magnanimously blessed with divine’s bounties and boons. It is an enchanting destination for tourists owing to its eye-catching landscapes, kaleidoscopic cultural diversity, significant historical sites, and sacred religious relics. Pakistan has five out of the world's fourteen above 8,000-metre peaks, which include K-2, the second highest peak in the world, Nanga Parbat known as Killer Mountain, Hidden Peak, Broad Peak and Gashabrum II. Pakistan also possesses six UNESCO sites, including the Buddhist archaeological sites in Takht-i-Bahi and Taxila.

Pakistan-Việt Nam relations have grown from strength to strength in all fields; political, economic, tourism, and the list goes on. In 2022, both countries celebrated the golden jubilee of the bilateral relationship. To observe this significant milestone in a befitting manner, impactful initiatives in the fields of trade, tourism, arts, and professional training were undertaken.

On November 8, 2022, the Embassy organised an “International Conference on 50 Years of Việt Nam-Pakistan Diplomatic Relations” in collaboration with the Vietnam Institute of Indian and Southwest Asian Studies (VIISAS) to take an overview of the bilateral relationship and to suggest ways forward.

On trade front, Pakistan was successfully registered as an exporting country of plant-origin products in Việt Nam in 2022. Bilateral trade increased from US$331 million in 2013-14 to $907 million in 2021-22 and is expected to reach $1 billion in the near future.

In the tourism sector, a webinar titled “Cooperation on Tourism Sector between Pakistan and Việt Nam” was organised in June 2022. Representatives from the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism and tour operators from both countries mulled over strategies to enhance tourism.

Doctors taking an oath at the graduation ceremony at Agha Khan University Hospital. Pakistan possesses the seventh largest pool of doctors in the world, of which 50 per cent are women. — Photo courtesy of the embassy

To depict Pakistan’s diverse cultural heritage, Vietnam Television aired documentaries titled “Chilam Joshi” and “Music in the Mountains”. The Embassy also organised a three-day Contemporary Art Exhibition “Maya” by Pakistani Artist Ms. Masooma Syed at the University of Industrial Fine Art from June 28-30, 2022.

To enhance collaboration between intelligentsia, an MoU was signed between VIISAS and the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in February 2022. Moreover, three diplomats from Việt Nam participated in the Short Diplomatic Course at the Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan in September 2022.

Pakistan highly appreciates the cooperation extended by the Vietnamese side for all such initiatives. Pakistan is grateful for the thoughtful gesture of donation of $100,000 for those affected by flooding. We look forward to a fruitful engagement with Việt Nam in the fields of high-level exchange, trade, tourism, and people-to-people contact.

Even though Pakistan-Việt Nam ties have yet to realise their full potential, the relationship is surely on an upward trajectory. With the current level of goodwill, commitment, and dedication, I am confident that the relationship will transform into a durable and trustworthy partnership in the near future for the benefit of the two peoples. — VNS