Welcome Address of Mian Haroon Masood at the arrival of Amb. Kazakhstan at Main Akbar House (Gujrat)

The welcome address of Mian Haroon Masood, the former Tehsil Nazim at the arrival of Ambassador Kazakhstan, at Main Akbar House in Gujrat.

Excellency, we welcome you to this sacred land of martyrs. The former army chief who led the war on terror was also from Gujrat. Historically we have had three officers who earned the highest most gallantry award. The Nishan-e-Haider so to speak.

Likewise, the former Army Chief General Abdul Hameed Khan also belonged to Gujrat. We have also had a battery of politicians doing their part of the duty as well. Another honor is Lord Syed Amir Sarfaraz Shah, a lifetime member of the House of Lords and is also a son of the soil. We have seen some of the most prolific writers and poets who earned a name for themselves.

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We could trace its roots back to the times of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. The remnants of the Akbar Fort are a testament to his resplendent glory. Alexander the Great is believed to have crossed this district when he faced Porus. Like other cities, Gujrat has also made a progress in different forms and ways. In earlier times, we witnessed a big college that remained the only institution for learning. The establishment of The University of Gujrat is a later-day addition, which has improved the complexion of Gujrat.

Education has thus, improved bringing about an overall change in the lives of the general public. With more of them being provided with equal opportunity to go forth and serve people after their postgraduate studies.

We welcome you here with open arms and open hearts. Before you, many other foreign envoys have also been coming to the Mian Akbar House. This is probably the 14th visit of any foreign dignitary to Mian Akbar House and correspondingly to our district also. We appreciate that you took the time out to visit us.

Coincidentally you arrive at a time when our country is faced with the worst of the challenges in terms of calamitous flooding caused by monsoon and incessant rains. This catastrophe has left many marooned and thousands perished. The large network of roads is damaged, and bridges crumbled.

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Millions of houses caved in. One-third of our country is submerged underwater. The provinces of Sindh and Balochistan are the worst hit. Pakistan has played its role in combating terrorism, the only country in Euro-Asia which has played its key role in combatting terrorism, having lost 70,000 civilian lives, the army personnel, and policemen alike. Collateral damage worth billions of dollars is hanging heavy on us. As it were not enough we are now again faced with yet more, a country that was teetering on the brink of ruin. According to the conservative estimates of the United Nations, this is a loss that has crossed over ten billion dollars.

We will have to look into the causes of such calamities. Surely, it’s because of global warming that the world, on the whole, has turned into a time bomb. From floods to fire, from the Americas to Europe and to Asia we all seem to grapple with the ongoing destruction of the global warming that it has leashed upon us. We are only responsible for contributing to world gas omissions to a negligible 0.4 percent. Yet we bear the brunt of other countries’ misdoings. The scale of destruction is of epic proportions. We must therefore in our own capacities take the challenge and work towards mitigating the suffering of the people across the globe and also take part as responsible countries of the region.

Today it’s us, tomorrow it could be any other country facing the same problem. Thus, in all fairness, we must act as responsible global citizens and must work to minimize the risk factor as much as we can.

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Pakistan will be joining The SCO, in Uzbekistan. We are all poised and geared to be a part of this new alliance. We want to bury the hatchet and move on. Even a layman can tell that the future is Asia. The resource-strapped Europe will have to face an uphill task in the atmosphere of a seemingly new geopolitical environment. China and Russia coming close and trying their best to take other countries out of American dominance and bring them into their ford. More to the Asian food basket. We could be friends with the foreign dominating powers, and can’t forsake our sovereignty, our pride, and the future of succeeding generations.

Gujrat is becoming a bastion of artisans where flourishes and consumers enjoy the product of their expertise in the fields of engineering, pottery, and furniture. We export to foreign countries the little that we manufacture. We agree to work bilaterally with mutual respect and are willing to have longer business partnerships and shared goals. Kazakhstan is a large country. We could definitely make use of its bountiful harvest. It spread over millions of acres of land.

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We also fancy your energy sector. The prospect of investing in energy has been our primary goal. Our struggle to restore peace in Afghanistan has been of paramount importance. The transmission of lines, and energy is just on the anvil. It does not come as a surprise if reps of the countries are brainstorming and acting toward the realization of this fanciful dream.

Our youth bulge has made it to central Asian states for their higher academic pursuits. We are indebted to all Central Asian countries and Kazakhstan in particular where such objectives are being realized.

We all thank the Excellency for this eventful visit to Gujrat.

Thank you!

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