“There will be few Pakistanis who may know that among their 1965 war martyrs there are a few PAF officers of Polish origin,” the Ambassador of Poland to Pakistan, Piotr A. Opalinski, said Friday evening.
He was speaking as the ‘Keynote Speaker’ at a function arranged by the English Speaking Union (ESU) of Pakistan (Islamabad Chapter) at the residence of Khalid Malik, the senior vice president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), who also is the President of the ESU.
The event was hosted by Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen.
“There were quite a few pilots and technicians of Polish origin inducted in the Pakistan Air Force back in 1948, soon after Pakistan came into being. They were patriotic Pakistanis and dedicated to their jobs to defend the country during the 1965 war against India,” Ambassador Opalinski said. “This indicates the strong ties between Poland and Pakistan,” he added.
“This is my second stint in Pakistan and I can hardly express as to how pleased and honoured I feel to be here in Islamabad once again. I even learnt to speak Urdu,” Ambassador Opalinski said and ventured on to speak a few sentences with obvious accent! The guests present were indeed pleased with the gesture.
He said that there was a lot of scope to further strengthen the diplomatic, trade and defence relations between the two countries and expressed the hope that the two countries will get closer and the ties will become stronger.
The President of the ESU, Khalid Malik, spoke briefly, appreciating Ambassador Opalinski for gracing the occasion as the ‘Keynote Speaker’ and welcomed the guests, amongst whom were quite a number of distinguished personalities like the former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Wazir Ahmed Jogezai and a number of senior Pakistan Foreign Office officials.
“We have an outstanding diplomat here and in a short span of time the Ambassador has become very popular amongst Pakistanis. It’s a privilege to welcome you Mr Ambassador and Madam here this evening,” Khalid Malik said.
It was a very warm gathering, thickly dotted with the diplomats and high ranking government officials among whom Imtiaz Ahmed, Addl. Secretary Asia Pacific, Zaheer Aslam Janjua, Addl. Secretary Europe, Shah M. Jamal Addl. Secretary A&C/OSP were prominent. From the diplomatic corps based in Islamabad the representatives from Sri Lanka, Japan, British High Commission, Romania and China could be seen mingling.
The conversation flowed freely and interestingly it was not necessary to communicate in English language only! After the Ambassador Opalinski had spoken, he took a few question from the audience to which he responded promptly and patiently. His views were appreciated by the members of the ESU.
Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen, being the host of this function, offered ‘vote of thanks’ and appreciated the efforts of the members of ESU and congratulated the President Khalid Malik and members of the Executive Committee for arranging this function. She also thanked Ambassador of Poland, his wife and all the members of ESU who have present in large number.
Khalid Malik presented a shield with insignia of ESU to Ambassador Piotr Opali ski Ambassador of Poland while Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen being the host, presented Bouquet to the wife of Ambassador.
Lady Viqarun Nisa Noon was the first president of the ESU, Islamabad Chapter. She was succeeded by Brig (r) Sadiq Awan and later Gen (r) Masud Akram was the third president. Khalid Malik is the reigning president of the ESU Islamabad.