The ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan, Bakhtibek Shabarbayev, has been appointed the new dean of the diplomatic corps, following the end of Argentine Ambassador Rodolfo Martin Saravia’s five year term. Mr Saravia, who served in the country for 12 years, was honoured with the Hilal-i-Pakistan.
Mr Sharbarbayev held a luncheon for Mr Saravia just a few dazys after the outgoing dean hosted their last farewell reception at their residence. The reception was attended by diplomats, government officials, private sector and civil society representatives as well as celebrities, including the famous mountaineers Samina and Mirza Baig.
Mr Shabarayev will take on the prestigious role as dean because he is now the longest serving envoy to the country.
At his luncheon at the Marriott Hotel, he thanked Ambassador Saravia for his work in Pakistan and said he was a seasoned diplomat, having joined the diplomatic service in 1978 and serving in various countries: Guatemala, Denmark, Bolivia, France, Sweden, Ukraine, Lebanon, Holy See, Spain and Pakistan.
“Ambassador Saravia has done his best to improve relations between the diplomatic corps and the authorities of Pakistan, making relations friendly and closer,” Mr Shabarayev said in his speech, adding that the outgoing dean had made the life of all diplomats more active and interesting. “I know that his life and work in Pakistan will be an unforgettable time for Ambassador Saravia and his family,” Ambassador Shabarayev said.
Mr Saravia said he will now retire from government service, but his contact with Pakistan and fellow diplomats will continue. His wife, Susana Negri, joked that she also wanted to be part of that future, interrupting her husband during his speech, saying that he must always say “we” and not just “I”.
Junya Matsuura, the Japanese charge d’affaires ad interim, held a reception to bid farewell to winners of the MEXT research scholarship for 2016.
The eight students have been awarded Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan Research Scholarships for Masters and Doctorate degrees.
He said: “I’m sure you will be welcomed once you have landed in Japan because Japan and Pakistan are good friends, and Japanese people have a very favourable view of people from Pakistan.”
Ahmad Waqar Hassan, one of the eight students said: “The day I shared the news that I got admission at the university, people told me different stories about Japan, about the attitude, hard work, ethics and etiquette of the Japanese people and this is exactly what I am looking forward to learning.”
Amina Rehman said: “I am an architect. I used to work at the Agha Khan University Hospital as an architect. I just want to thank the Japanese government for giving us such a prestigious opportunity. One of the biggest moments of my life was winning this scholarship.”
Congratulating the students, Zafar Mahmood, president of the Monbukagakusho Alumni Association of Pakistan, said: “We are looking forward to the day when you come back and join our network. Enjoy your life there. Your studies are important, but please travel around and experience the local culture.”
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2016