Salahuddin Haider

Thursday, June 04, 2015 – ITALY with its expertise in construction machinery, and textiles, is keen on strengthening economic ties with Pakistan, said the country’s acting consul general in Karachi Giulio Iazeolla in a speech marking the 69th anniversary of the proclamation of Italian Republic Monday evening.

His country, he said, was taking keen interest in development of Sindh and Balochistan, in historic sites like Bhambhore etc. He added that considerably large number of Pakistani community settled in his country, was contributing its bit to develop the European state.

Replying to his sentiments, the Sindh senior minister Nisar Khuhro, recalled the grandeur of Rome, its historic sights which are a major tourist attraction , Venice for its river cruise. Khuhro, representing the Sindh chief minister in his capacity as the Education minister, emphasized on the interaction of between the two countries, maintaining best of relations.

The reception was largely attended by consul generals of Russian Federation, Germany, France, Indonesia, Bangla Desh, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Thailand, and Qatar Oleg Avedeev , Dr Tino Klinner,Fracoise Dallorso,Hadi Santoso,Noor-e-Hilal Saiifur Rehman, Mohammad Abdullah Abdul Daim, Suwat Kaowsook, and Hilal Ali Mohammad Al Salmi. Also prominent was ever smiling Gil Atkinson, number two at the British Deputy High Commission here, and with her was second secretary, political affairs at the British High Commission in Islamabad. Young and brilliant lady, Claire Nichols was here on a short visit, but it was a delight to meet her. From the United States came the political and economic affairs officer Chad Peterson.

The Saudi consul general has come here new, but is an extremely delightful personality, charming and courteous. It was my fortune to meet him and exchange notes. So also is the Thai diplomat, immensely loveable and amiable.

A galaxy of city elite added to the charm of an atmosphere, meant to bring glory to the occasion. The acting Italian consul general Iazeolla is himself a very charming personality, and Almas assisting her in the reception line and later at dinner, showed that Pakistani stuff is second to none.

Italian cooperation with Pakistan is almost ingrained in history. Italy and Pakistan both boast of centuries old history and their archaeology sites. Italy assisted build the Mangla Dam in the 60 with its firm Cogefar Astaldi, working in combination with international consortium under the World Bank patronage.

Even visiting Italy is a pleasure. There is romance in Italian culture. Its eating houses, roadside restaurants, the leaning tower of Pisa, a major tourist attraction with ancient history .It is leaning for centuries for either designing or structural defects, but is there for anyone to see and feel pleasure in being near it.

Milan and Venice are known for their charm, Milan being at the bank of huge canal, going right upto Swiss border. A cruise on it gives immense pleasure, as its two banks are covered with houses on hills, and a lovely garden, all automated and having just 11 gardeners. Without Venice , trip to Italy will remain incomplete. In fact anyone touring Europe must include Italy in his or her itinerary. It is such a lovely country, rich in heritage and novel in living styles.