Queen’s birthday party was indeed grand
Francis Campbell, looking after the British diplomatic mission in the city, himself is very agile and enthusiastic personality. He is lucky to have a much more brilliant and enterprising boss as his country’s High Commissioner in Islamabad, Adam Thomson, who had flown here specially for the occasion. The two form a great team which is hectically engaged to cement the bonds of friendship between UK and Pakistan. Both are remarkably efficient in their vigour and style or work. Ever since Francis has been here, he has galvanized all his resources to come upto the trust reposed in his assignment by people in London.
I am sure, similar is the mission of Adam Thomson also. Short in height, and boyish-looking, Adam , had a dig at him by one of the invitees. But the Brits are famous for their wit and humour. They can never be taken lightly. “You are so young and must have a great career ahead” said the incoming person while shaking hands with him. The reply was prompt and brilliant. It completely disarmed his guest. “I am ageing in Pakistan”. The dialogue ended in a loud laughter. But Adam, with an envious family background, could not be taken lightly. His grand father was a noble laureate, his father taught in one of the finest universities in UK, so did Begum Salma Ahmad, former MNA, and currently vice president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industyr, disclosed during conversation with this correspondent.
Her brother in law, former foreign secretary and also an ex-cricket boss of the country, was student of Adam’s father. The High Commissioner possesses a delightful personality, a rare example of humility, an inimitable smile constantly playing on his face which glows all the time. He is hospitable and obviously a highly successful diplomat. He excels in winning friends, and that is what a diplomat’s job is all about.
The reception was turned memorable, not by the profusely illuminated premises, but by the presence of eminent personalities like Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh assembly speaker Nisar Khuhro, Federal ministers Farooq Sattar, and Babar Ghouri, provincial ministers Agha Siraj Durrani, and Raza Haroon, MNA Waseem Akhtar, adviser Sharmila Farooqi, and many more. There were a host of former Pakistani diplomats, like ex-ambassador Zia Ispahani, and ex-high commissioner to UK, Kader Jaffer, Salma Ahmad, past and present presidents of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, US consul general William Martin, the Swiss. German and Russian consul generals, Dideo ,Dr Klinner, and Andrey Demidov, the UAE consul was there and also the French consul general.
After the ceremony began on a solemn note, with a minute’s silence for those killed in the recent Bhoja Air crash near Islamabad, followed by the national anthems of the two countries, played by a Pakistani contingent, a cake was cut to mark the inspiring occasion. In his speech, Francis reminded the guests that “today our(UK-Pakistan) relations are much more stronger” He thanked the rangers, the police and the administration for taking pains to make the function memorable.
He quite justifiably claimed that his office in Karachi was busy without wasting a minute to look for further improvement in bilateral ties. High Commissioner Thomson in his brief speech praised the efforts of his deputy high commission in Karachi. Being in Karachi was a special sense of “delight” for him. Karachi he said was a vibrant city, full of energy as one of the biggest cities of the world. He reminded the people that in 1961 and in 1997, the Queen visited Karachi which showed her interest in Pakistan and its people and in the Commonwealth.
The governor in his speech told those present that President Zardari has personally asked him to represent him at the function. Pak-UK relationship, governor reminded the audience, was all weather friendship. He said that 60 years since coronation, the Queen has been energetically looking after the interest of the commonwealth fraternity of nations. He paid glowing tributes to Her Majesty. All in all, it was a great moment and remain memorable for a long time. Email: email@example.com