By Vice Chairperson Joy Cho
Mrs. Munazza Zafar, spouse of the Ambassador of Pakistan to Republic of Korea, is a truly wonderful friend of the women and the entire people of the Republic of Korea, She said, “I consider Korea a great nation that has risen from colonization and Korean war in a short time.” Then she said, “Korean museums, preserved palaces, temples and educational institutes represent Korea in its best form.”
Speaking with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications for the past 38 years (since 1985), Mrs. Zafar said, “Korea is a great place for tourism and research.”
Then she said: “Pakistan is a working democracy that aims to turn into a developed, welfare state in future. I look forward to increased cooperation between my country and Korea in every sector of national life. And I wish a very blessed and more prosperous future to the people of Korea.”
Details of the interview with Madam Zafar follow:
Question: Please introduce your and also His Excellency the Ambassador of Pakistan.
Answer: I am Munazza Zafar spouse of the Ambassador of Pakistan to Republic of Korea. I did Masters in Political Science from the University of Punjab and B.Ed in elementary education from the University of Education. I have worked in the field of education with nonprofit organizations for over 17 years as teacher, head of department and principal. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the team working on pilot project of inclusive education for differently-abled children that proved a success and opened a new horizon for the communities we served.
The Ambassador has a Masters degree in English Literature. He has been part of Pakistan civil service since 1993. He has served in Kenya, South Africa and Belgium. He has also been member of Pakistan Mission to the UN in New York. We have two grown up kids who live in the US.
Q: Who is the First Lady of Pakistan? Please introduce her in detail.
A: Mrs. Samina Arif Alvi is the First Lady of Pakistan. She is a philanthropist and actively campaigns for awareness on breast cancer, mental health issues and rights of differently-abled people. Her campaign has caused the number of patients approaching specialized hospitals to double.
Her husband President Dr. Arif Alvi is one of the leading dentists in Karachi, and he is also Trustee of many charitable organizations. Together they are parents of four married children.
As a spouse my responsibility is to support my husband so he can concentrate on his duties. That includes a well-managed home, participation in planning events and attending events with him as well.
Q: Please introduce your country, Pakistan
A: Pakistan is a country with a rich history and diverse geography. The archeological sites of Mohenjodaro and Harappa are believed to have been established around 2500 BCE. Some experts believe it to be 5000 years old.
In 500 BCE, advent of Buddhism took place in Northern parts of Sub-continent.
The great Maurian King Ashoka patronized Buddhism in the 3rd century BCE. It flourished in areas that are in present day Pakistan.
In Korea, Buddhism was brought by Monk Maranantha who was from the Swat region in Pakistan.
For religious tourism, you can visit Taxilla, Takht Bhai and Swat. For historians, Lahore Fort, Rohtas fort and Rani Kot fort are worth seeing. For foodies, Lahore is a great attraction.
Gilgit Baltistan is a wonderful place with natural beauty and has a large number of tourist spots. Pakistan is home to five peaks higher than 8000 meters and 108 peaks over 7000 metres. The world’s second highest peak, K-2, is also located in Pakistan. It is a heaven for mountaineering. If you are interested in beaches then Gwadar and Karachi can be your destinations.
If a mind is intrigued by how a country that was once home to Buddhism turned into a Muslim majority country, the answer lies in the study of history of this region.
It was mainly the work of Muslim saints whose personal example of piety, Godliness, service to mankind and practicing a faith that offered equal rights to all segments of society, including women and the destitute, inspired local people and a great number converted to Islam. Hinduism is the second largest religion in Pakistan followed by Christianity, Sikhism and others.
Q: Please introduce the food of Pakistan:
A: Pakistani cuisine is also very rich and focusses on diverse flavours. It includes biryani, kebabs, karahi, haleem, kheer, gulab jaman and ras milai along with many others. Pakistanis are also fond of fast food. So you can easily find a Macdonald’s or KFC in big cities. We enjoy Italian and Chinese cuisine as well. Korean ramen is also gaining popularity among youth now-a-days, who are also fond of K-Pop and K-Drama.
Q: What are the main products of agriculture in Pakistan?
A: The main agricultural products of Pakistan are wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane and pulses. We also have large production of mangoes, oranges and dates. Pakistan has the world’s second largest rock salt mine in Khewra. Other mineral reserves include gemstones, marble, coal, copper and gold.