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Showing posts with label English Speaking Union of Pakistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English Speaking Union of Pakistan. Show all posts

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pakistan, EU enjoy strong bonding: Ambassador


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The Ambassador Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Pakistan, Mr Jean-Francois Cautain has remarked that the EU-Pakistan Five Year Engagement Plan was a proof of strong ties between the EU and Pakistan. 

He added that the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus granted to Pakistan by the EU in 2014 had been very successful in building ties. 

He was speaking at a programme, organized by the English Speaking Union of Pakistan (ESUP) at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi, on September 26. 

The President of the ESUP, Aziz Memon, formally introduced the distinguished guest who candidly shared his views with the august gathering present on the occasion. 

“We may have several issues such as migration, human trafficking, etc, but we are working with Pakistan to tackle all that. We need to look at legal ways of migration. We also need to fight smugglers together. But after GSP Plus, Pakistan’s exports have gone up by 38 per cent. The EU provides the GSP Plus facility to 10 countries including Pakistan,” Jean-Francois Cautain observed. 

“The EU also provides Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds to Pakistan, especially for education. This is my third visit to Pakistan. Earlier, I was here working with an NGO in Peshawar. Pakistan is a country that I appreciate and love,” he added. 

“The UK is still there but a change would take place in 2019. The EU was sad to be losing UK but politicians should not be blaming the EU for their own national failures. The EU was not a project of the past that had lost its ambition. The ambition is still very much there. The EU remains the best tool to strengthen sovereignty. With the USA’s collapse of ambition, we work on climate change, human rights, building peace amid hostility, stability of borders and we are still the largest global market, and we will continue to play a key role in trade. We are capable of producing one-quarter of the world’s wealth,” he said, confirming that the EU still comprised of 28 member countries. 

“The EU works at building bridges between its nations for lasting peace. But even if you have peace you don’t take it for granted. From Syria in the Middle East to India there are refugees in search of safe harbours. During the last several months a number of countries have approached the EU, seeking cooperation and a sense of direction while the US takes a back seat in such endeavours. We have given 75 billion euros for human assistance,” Jean-Francois Cautain elaborated. 

Replying to a question about why Turkey was still not a part of the EU, the ambassador said that Turkey needed to meet EU’s standards in mode of government and fundamental values to be able to be a part of the EU. 

Answering to another question concerning the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, he considered it a tragedy, stating that the issue was close to their heart and they were looking for the solutions. 

Jean-Francois Cautain was uncertain how the EU could persuade India to talk with Pakistan to discuss Kashmir. 

“We are not sure in what capacity the EU could help in this matter. The issue of Kashmir and the human rights issues there need to be dealt with by Pakistan and India on their own,” he opined.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ambassador revisits Belgium and beginning of Great War


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The role of Belgium before and during the World War-I was highlighted by the Belgian Ambassador, Peter Claes during an exhaustive discourse at a get-together of the English Speaking Union of Pakistan, held the Beach Luxury Hotel on December 4. 

The function was chaired by the ESUP’s President, Aziz Memon, who, in his welcome address earlier, spoke about growing Pakistan-Belgium relationship. 

The Belgian Ambassador's topic of the talk was "Belgium and the beginning of the great war" during which he dwelt at length about his nation's role at the beginning, during and after the war. Marking the centenary of the First World War, Ambassador Peter Claes recalled the history of Belgium and how it became a country. 

In his discourse, he recalled when European leaders gathered in Vienna in 1815 to redraw the map of their region and thereby the Southern Catholic Netherlands and Northern Protestant Netherlands were united to form the Kingdom of Netherlands with two capitals, one in Amsterdam and the other in Brussels. 

However, this union, he stated, lasted only for 15 years after the Belgians living in the kingdom revolted and seceded in 1830. After it became independent, the Belgians offered to Leopold to become their king which he accepted and the decision to do so, Ambassador Claes opined, had far-reaching implications since Leopold was related to the royal family of England, firstly as the son-in-law of King George IV and then as a maternal uncle of Queen Victoria. 

It ensured two things-one the Great Britain recognized and supported the new country and the other Great Britain became the guarantor of its neutrality, which was one of the pre-requisites of European leaders in order to recognize the new country. 

Ambassador Claes said Belgium invested more in industry and neglected its military aspect. Nevertheless, Belgium did safeguard its cities by erecting forts, perhaps foreseeing the developing militarist intentions of neighboring countries like France, Germany and Russia. Continuing, the Ambassador said that in essence First World War was a Balkan war. Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia. Russia had mobilized its forces against Austria-Hungary. 

Germany was supporting Austria-Hungary. Germany faced a terrible choice because it had to fend off two enemies: France and Russia. France was particularly hostile to Austria-Hungary and Germany. The hostility between France and Germany dated back to the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.” 

“Germany promised us all kinds of help even going to the extent of promising us territorial compensation from France. We were given only 12 hours to decide. Everyone from the king to the Prime Minister to the parliament rejected the ultimatum. This automatically led to war and on Aug 4, 1914 the Germans entered Belgium and Liege was the first Belgian city that Germany attacked.” 

The Ambassador said the battle lasted for seven days, which is a considerable period of time, since our policy of neutrality meant that our military strength was negligible and yet we defended ourselves which was a no mean thing especially against the enormous German forces who used heavy artillery and destroyed forts in the city. 

According to Ambassador Claes, Belgium tried to organize as best as they could, but because of their policy of neutrality, they did not have a tradition of defence. Germany didn’t expect resistance from Belgians In fact in the Battle of the Silver Helmets the Belgian cavalry defeated the German troops. 

The Germans kept advancing through Belgium and torched several towns and killing many defenceless civilians. Giving the example of the Battle of Ypres, he said the town was completely ruined by the Germans during the Great War. Speaking about Belgium's stance of neutrality in the Great War, he said during the first days of the war, Belgium maintained its neutrality. Officially it was never part of the alliance. 

"We controlled our own forces.” But this policy was challenged again in 1940 when Germany invaded Belgium without warning. This is why his country lost faith in this policy and invested in the multilateralism and hence it was one of the founder members of Nato, United Nations and European Union. 

While concluding, Ambassador Claes became emotional when he recounted the services rendered by the soldiers of the subcontinent who had participated in the First World War. 

“Nearly one-third of people of this soil that had nothing to do with the war, came in cold, misery and mud, away from their beloved to fight and defend our freedom and our homeland. The first Muslim to be awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery was given to a private named Khudadad Khan," he recalled. 

On the occasion President ESUP, Aziz Memon, presented the ESUP plaque to Ambassador Peter Claes. Secretary General, Majyd Aziz, Senior Vice President, Abdul Kader Jaffer, Senior Vice President Byram D Avari, were also present on the occasion.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Around 5,000 students to appear in SSUET Admission Test


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
 
An estimated 5,000 applicants, seeking admission in various engineering disciplines at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, will appear in the admission test to be held at Expo Center on September 28.
 
This year over 5,000 applications were received by the university until September 24, which was the last date for the submission of applications,  showing a substantial increase in the number of admission seekers. Last year 4,300 students had appeared in the SSUET entrance test which was also held at the centrally-located Expo Centre.
 
The highest number of applications to be received for admission this year were in the civil and electrical engineering disciplines.
 
Meanwhile arrangements were in the offing for the test for which  a couple of spacious halls have been booked at the Expo Center to accommodate the record number of applicants to appear in the test.
 
The two-hour test will start at 10 am and the applicants have been advised to reach the test centre an hour before the scheduled time.
 
The university also has made seating arrangements for parents accompanying the female students appearing in the test.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Australian High Commissioner addresses ESUP gathering in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Peter Heyward, impressed everyone with his thorough understanding of the game of cricket during his keynote address to theEnglish Speaking Union of Pakistan (ESUP) at the Hotel Beach Luxury, Karachi, on June 21.

The topic of his speech was ‘Cricket in Australia’ and he dwelled at length at the various aspects of the gentleman’s game. 

He enlightened the audience by sharing the historic perspectives in a candid manner and the intensity was sustained throughout half an hour as he combined his own thoughts while recalling the incidents having brought out about the most significant changes.

The High Commissioner touched upon the bitter memories of the early 20th century when six of the leading cricketers of his country, including the legendary Victor Trumper, had revolted against the board. He also recalled the crisis of the 1970s when a man called Kerry Packer had taken on the cricket establishment of Australia.

The ESUP function, for a change, began with a presentation as Ehsan Qureshi, a veteran sports journalist and a prolific author, was invited at the stage to present copies of his World Cup books to the Australian High Commissioner who was appreciative of the gesture.

Aziz Memon, President, ESUP, while introducing the Australian High Commissioner prior to his speech, described Peter Heyward as an articulate foreign service officer, having brought laurels to his country during his long and illustrious diplomatic career which took him to different corners of the world.

In his welcome address, Majyd Aziz, ESUP, talked about some of the memorable cricket matches having taken place between Pakistan and Australia over the years. He particularly recalled the Melbourne Test of 1979 when Sarfraz Nawaz had turned the tables around by dismissing seven batsmen for only one run.

The man who had been in the thick of things during that match, having watched that magnificent spell from behind the stumps, Wasim Bari, was also present in the front row of the audience and the former Pakistan captain was duly recognized by the ESUP President at the start of the proceedings.

The interactive session turned out to be an interesting one and theAustralian High Commissioner tried to do justice with every query posed to him. 

He pointed out that those desiring to travel to Australia for the Cricket World Cup 2015 will have to submit the normal visa forms and their cases will processed in routine manner.

Abdul Kader Jaffer, Senior Vice President, ESUP, and a former Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, presented the vote of thanks in the typically lively style of his.