For diplomatic community, rarely it occurs when national days of two countries are celebrated on a single day. On Monday, however it happened when Austrian Ambassador Dr Dr Brigitta Blaha and her South Korean counterpart Kwak Sung-Kyu hosted receptions at their embassies respectively to celebrate their national days. A large number of diplomatic community, notable personalities, representatives of the Foreign Office and cabinet members the PTI-government participated and extended their warm wishes to the both ambassadors on the historic days of their countries.
Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan was the Chief Guest at the Austrian reception while Minister for Science & Technology Azam Khan Swati graced the South Korean event as Chief guest. While congratulating the Austrian ambassador Omar Ayub Khan said Pakistan and Austria had a long history of friendship and mutual agreements in various fields. A large number of Pakistani doctors, engineers and workers are serving in the Austrian society and the Austrian government is taking good care of them.
He offered Austrian business community to take advantage of Pakistan’s investment-friendly environment and invest in various sectors from power generation to real estate, infrastructure and industry. Dr Brigitta said her government looked forward to working with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government on a number of projects. She expressed hope with the passage of time relations between the two countries would further grow. Earlier national anthems of the two countries were played at the start of reception.
At Korean national day, Minister for Science & Technology Azam Khan Swati congratulated Ambassador Kwak Sung-Kyu and held Pakistan’s relations with South Korean nation of great value. “Your country’s achievements in science & technology are amazing and I also have a team of South Korean scientists in ministry and believe they are extraordinary hardworking guys,” said Swati.
Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) & Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was also present on the occasion.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Ambassador Kwak Sung-Kyu traced the steady growth in bilateral relations of Pakistan and South Korea since 1983 when the diplomatic ties between the two countries were established. He hoped in the years to come these relations would further flourish.
The highlight of the Korean reception however was the performance of Korean traditional performing art troupe. Korean music and drummers soul-stirring beats evoked feelings of joy and ecstasy among the guests who turned up in large number at the Ambassador’s official residence.
Published in Melange Intl. Magazine in November 2018.