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Italian national day celebrated

ISLAMABAD - Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo hosted a grand reception to mark the national day of his country here at a local hotel.

Federal Minister for Provincial Coordination, Sports and Youth Affairs Riaz Hussain Pirzada was the chief guest while Governor Punjab Malik Rafique Rajwana, MNA Daniyal Aziz, Minister of State for Interior Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman and President of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and industry (FPPCI) Abdul Rauf Alam were also present on the stage to exchange their views on various issues.

Different areas of the hotel were utilised by the Italian ambassador to project the friendship between Pakistan and Italy. Just along the entrance, six Vespa scooters were displayed. Vespa scooter is the beginning of corporation and joint venture between Pakistan and Italy. On one side of the hall, there was a fashion show with music.  The Italian cuisine was also served.

On every step there was something to observe. The wife of Italian ambassador was wearing a green dress which was not by chance as green colour is the identity of Pakistan.

Stefano Pontecorvo said in his speech that the political ties between Italy and Pakistan have been traditionally excellent over the decades and he is glad to say that bilateral ties between both countries are growing with extraordinary strength and consolidation. He said both countries have shared values and vision on global peace and regional stability. He said being part of the “Uniting for Consensus Group” Pakistan and Italy are commonly engaged in the UN peacekeeping as well as on the issue of Security Council reforms.

He added that Italy will represent Pakistan in the Security Council, if elected, as non-permanent member for the mandate 2017-18,   in elections which will be held this month in New York.

Beyond political ties, the ambassador said that Italy and Pakistan are committed to become better trade and investment partners. In December 2015, the Italian Trade Commissioner came to Pakistan for the the first time and re-opened  the Italian Trade Office in Karachi. A few months later, Chairman of Board of Investment Miftah Ismail visited Italy to attend Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum. Since then, many business delegations have visited Italy and important contracts have been signed between Italian and Pakistani companies in many fields, ranging from construction material to agro-industry to defence.

He further said that 2016 will also be remembered for the historical climb of Nanga Parbat by the Italian mountaineers Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger, together with their Pakistani team member Ali Sadpara and Spanish climber Alex Txikon.  He also mentioned the 60th anniversary of the Italian archaeological mission in Swat, currently directed by Prof Luca Olivieri and financed in the framework of Italy Development Cooperation Programme with Pakistan. He thanked all the Italians and the Pakistanis for their contribution in promoting friendship between Italy and Pakistan in different fields.

—The writer is a freelance contributor.

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