Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan of Pakistan in Seoul said that the long-standing Korea-Pakistan relationship witnessed significant developments in 2015. Speaking at a reception he hosted on the occasion of the National Day of Pakistan at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on March 23, 2016, Ambassador Khan said, “The most important was the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan and President Park Guen-Hye in New York last September and other significant developments include the commencement of pre-feasibility study on Free Trade Agreement, and the signing of framework agreement for the provision of US $500 million for various projects to Pakistan under the Economic Development Cooperation Fund.” (See excerpts from the speech of the ambassador at the end of this article.)
The Pakistani National Day party was attended by many distinguished guests from the government and various other fields as well as ambassadors and other senior diplomats accompanied by their spouses.
Among the Korean guests attending the reception were Minister Kang Eun-hee of Gender Equality and Family, Director General Young N. Kang of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chairman Shin Myeong-jin of Korea Importers Association, Korea Red Cross Vice President Kim Su-hyang (also chairperson of the University of North Korean Studies), Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, President Huh Soo-Young of Lotte Chemicals and Chief Operations Officer Chong Hyun Ha of Hyundai Engineering Co. From the Korean business community there also were CEO M.K. Oh of K Pack International, Chairman Tay-Yong Shinn of Manshin International Corporation, CEO J. M. Sohn of JMS International Corporation, CEO Raehwan Park of E-Logistics, President Lee Soon Kyu of Ace Trading Corporation and Chairman Mark Chan-dong of KPS Global.
Among the foreign dignitaries attending the function were many envoys who included Ambassadors Albino Malungo of Angola, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Md. Zulfiqur Rahman of Bangladesh, Natallia Jhylevich of Belarus, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Tito Saul Pinilla Pinilla of Colombia, Rodolfo Solano uiros of Costa Rica, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Hassan Taherian of Iran, Wadee Batti Hanna Al-Batti of Iraq, Dato Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia, Mohammed Chraibi of Morocco, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Alexander Andreevich Tomonin of Russia, Emma-Francoise Isumbingabo of Rwanda, Kiromov Salohiddin of Tajikistan (CDA) and Andrea Veronica Bais Gastaldi (CDA) of Uruguay.
Ambassador Khan began his welcome speech with Assalam -o-Alaikum (May Peace Be Upon You) and Annyeonghaseyo in Korean (How Are You?) followed by a brief introduction of the National Day of Pakistan. Gist of his speech follows:
It gives me great pleasure to warmly welcome all our distinguished guests and Korean friends, who have joined us this evening to celebrate Pakistan National Day. My special thanks to Her Excellency Kang Eun-Hee, Minister of Gender Equality and Family, for gracing the occasion as Chief Guest. Excellency, your presence tonight reflects the long standing friendly relations between the peoples of our two countries.
It was on this historic Day in the year 1940, in the city of Lahore, that Muslim League of India, adopted the famous Lahore Resolution that called for a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. Thus under the dynamic leadership of our founder and great leader Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan came into being on 14 August, 1947.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, as we know it today, is a country of around 190 million people located at the cross-roads of Central Asia, South Asia, China and the Middle East. Our strategic geographic location makes us the fulcrum of vast regional markets, which the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is developing through its policies of regional connectivity and peaceful neighborhood.
Endowed with large agrarian lands, abundant natural resources, the resilient Pakistani men and women are determined to fulfill their immense potential. Here I must mention that with every passing day women in Pakistan are assuming greater role in the affairs of the society. Also due to government’s prudent policies Pakistan’s economy is experiencing a period of optimism and the security environment has dramatically improved and continues to do so.
I am happy to report that Pakistan-Korea long-standing relationship witnessed significant developments in 2015. The most important was the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Park Guen-Hye in New York, last September. Other significant developments included the commencement of pre-feasibility study on FTA, and the signing of framework agreement for provision of US $500 million for various projects to Pakistan under the Economic Development Cooperation Fund. Along with these political and economic efforts, the Embassy continues to organize various cultural events to bridge the cultural gap between the two countries.
Here, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my Korean friends from different walks of life including those from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in making our task easy for expanding and deepening bilateral relations between Pakistan and Korea as without their help it would not have been possible.
Towards the close, I would like to express my deep appreciation for our sponsors including Lotte Chemical, Korea Energy, National Bank of Pakistan, and PIA for their valuable contributions in making today’s event a success.
I thank you all once again and hope that you would enjoy the evening with Pakistani cuisine prepared by chefs from Pakistan.