Somalia wants to strengthen ties with Pakistan

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Salahuddin Haider

Karachi

In an impressive ceremony, the new Somalian Ambassador Khadija Mohamed Almakhzoumi spoke fondly of her country’s desire to strengthen bilateral ties with Pakistan, in every possible sector, be it economy, trade, cultural, and at people to people level.
She has been here for a little over half a year, but made it a point to be in Karachi at her first available opportunity. In speech at the function to launch the new Somalian Consulate in Karachi, she minced no words that Islamabad and Mogadishu were tied in fraternal bonds, both being Muslim countries, and should forge ahead hand in hand on the path to progress.
The consulate is headed by a young and energetic industrialist Saifur Rehman, who apart from being a successful businessman, was enterprising, and spoke with tremendous confidence about his mission, and the task ahead to promote closer ties between the two countries.
The function at his posh residence in Defence Housing Society, was attended by Bangla Desh consul general Noor-e-Helal Saifur Rehman, senator from Karachi Saleem Zia of PML(N), former southern commander of Pakistan Air Force retired Air Marshal Abid Rao, and several honorary consuls general like Pervez Haroon Madraswala, Ishtiaq Baig,eminent businessmen including Mohammad Farooq Afzal.
Sindh Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro, being the chief guest, articulated the thinking of the Envoy from Islamabad, saying Karachi and its pleasant weather, had opened its heart out to welcome the young lady diplomat, He said that Pakistan and Sindh was happy for her to be here. Sindh, he said, was willing to offer facilities for students from Somalia so that they could serve their country well, and ensure a brighter future for itself.
The Ambassador, clad in Islamic “Abaya’ is a lovely lady, smiling and enlightened, and hoped that Pakistan and Somalia, celebrating the 57t h year of the establishment of their diplomatic ties, would find new avenues to build up a solid foundation for elevated and stronger relationship.
The function was originally scheduled for 14th March at a local hotel, but because of the prime minister’s presence there on that night for the Hindu festival of Holi, had to be merged with the dinner from the ambassador at Honorary consul general’s house Thursday night..
Recognising that initiative of the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank, in its highly productive 14 years of existence, Saifur Rehman invited its chairman, former Navy Chief retired Admiral Shahid Kareemullah, who also spoke briefly to impress upon the need for stronger relationship between Somalia and Pakistan. In company with Nisar Khuhro, senator Saleem Zia, Shahid Kareemullah , KCFR Mukhtar Ahsan Zuberi, the ambassador and the Honoray consul general cut the 20-pound cake which Mukthar Zuberi had gifted for the occasion.
Actually, Zuberi, who founded KCFR, and its CEO also apart from secretary general was behind the appointment of Saif-Ur Rehman as the Honorary consul general of the African country. He is doing that for others also. Earlier National anthems of the two countries were played which is customary for such occasions.