NATIONAL days of foreign diplomatic missions are normally in keeping with the traditions, but the Bangladesh consul general Noor-e-Helal, Saifur Rehman set a new norm to win the hearts of all those attending the 45th Independence and National Day of his country, hosted by him earlier this week.
In respect to the martyrs of the Lahore blast, he did away with the speeches, which he had readied for the important day, and instead appealed to the guests to observe one minute silence to pay homage to victims of the ghastly incident. He and Sindh senior minister Nisar Khuhro, chief guest for the occasion, stood motionless, heads down and so were all those invited for the great occasion. It was a rare and moving gesture from Nur-e-Helal, a modest and humble human being. So his lovely and courteous wife Shabnam Mostari.
National anthems of the two countries and cake cutting to mark the occasion, which was turned solemn, were the only official ceremonies. Dinner was served soon afterwards. The day because of being mourning for the Lahore blast victims, and also because of Easter Monday, suffered from attendance. But the BD diplomat had distributed 700 invitations and had booked a huge hall for the great occasion.
He was nevertheless praised by all those present for highly moving and memorable gesture. Prominetn among those present there were French and Swiss consul generals Fracoise Dollaros, and Emil Wyss , Indonesian consul general Hadi Santoso, his wife Wati, Russian consul general Oleg Avedeev and his second in command Andrey Fedrevov, Turkish consul general Onart, Irani consul general Mehdi Sobhani, Sri Lankan consul general Herath, Acting Japanese and Korean consuls general Yasuharu SHINTO, and Kim Guam. While the Japanese consul general Akira Ouchi is about to leave the country on completion of his assignment, the Korean consul general Donggi was out of Karachi. Acting Chinese consul general Mu and Thailand consul general was there too.
A number of eminent businessmen like Kalim Farooqui, former senator Haseeb Khan, Bashir Ali Mohammad, Zia Ispahani, the Beg brothers, Ikhtiar and Ishtiaq, and several others. Nur-e-Helal and his wife took great care of guests, attending them personally. The couple is indeed hospitable and highly courteous.