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Fawad traces historical, religious linkages in Pak-Thai relations

Information Minister says many Pakistani taking active part in Thai politics; Ambassador of Thailand Chakkrid Krachaiwong took the audience 60 years back when his Royal Highness visited Pakistan and planted a mango tree in Lahore

AB Khan

Chakkrid Krachaiwong, ambassador of Thailand in Islamabad acted wisely by celebrating, the National Day of Thailand falling on 5th December, birthday anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Thailand’s Father’s Day allon the same day and invited  a very limited number of guests at his residence adjacent to the newly constructed Royal Thai Embassy. As guests arrived at the venue, they were swayed away by the architecture and the décor of the building which was illuminated with colorful lights marking Thailand-Pakistan 70 years of diplomatic relations.Bright colors, rich ornamentation, multi-tiered roofs immediately connected the guest to the magnificent palaces of Thailand. The ambassador along with his diplomatic colleagues greeted each and every guest clapping the hands together and saying “sawadee- kah”.

The ambassador in his welcoming speech, took the audience 60 years back when his Royal Highness visited Pakistan and planted a mango tree in Lahore which has bore many delicious mangoes over the followingdecades.The current serving King of Thailand too had visited Pakistan three times as in the capacity of Crown Prince and it was the serving king who had laid the foundation of the Thai embassy in Islamabad in 2012 which not only is one of the largest butalso the most beautiful Thai embassies located all over the world, he informed. The ambassador said many of his colleagues at the foreign ministry in Bangkok became very envious of him when he informed them on his posting to Islamabad. In his address he also emphasized the importance of bilateralrelations andcontinuously increasing trade volume between the two countries. It is not the beaches of Thailand or the majestic mountains of Pakistan that has tied this bond of friendship between the two countries but people to people relations played the most important role, said the ambassador very proudly. Due to the religious Buddha sites in Taxila, Pakistan is a second home many Thai citizens making their pilgrims round the year and for the Pakistanis, beaches of Thailand play an important role as tourist destination? The government of Thailand is also planning a big monument at Taxila very soon and it will be a great addition to the Buddhist site”, he ended his speech with the quote of Quaid-a-Azam saying that Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah once said that with faith discipline and Unity there is nothing worthwhile that can’t be achieved .so let’s follow his example and achieve the unachievable.

Fawad Chaudhry, minister for Information & broadcasting also narrated interesting stories about his visit to Thailand impromptu and also took support from the pages handed over to him by Foreign Office to read from. Mr. Chaudhry narrated his last visit to Thailand which was in2015 when he went to the tiger’s hub and took daring pictures with them. On his return he said I got a dressing down from my mother for being so careless. She   was furious for his acting so brave after seeing the photos, he informed the audience laughingly.. The minister also emphasized on the centuries old historical cum religious relationship between the two countries which actually go back to 2500 years of king Ashoka time when he wanted to establish Buddha empire in Taksila now known as Taxila. He also showed his pleasant surprise that there are around 5000 Pakistanis living in Thailand and it does not stop here. Thai- Pakistanis are playing an important role in politics in Thailand and most of them are pathans. He informed the guests that six Thai-Pathans are members of the parliament whereas two are members of the Thai Senate ruling government. Taking a jibeat Mr.Atif Khan Senior Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the minister said its nice to know that Pathans are ruling all over the world.

It was a three-hour event but time flied in a blink of an eye it seemed. The host had arranged very short duration documentaries, Mi-Tai performance, dance performance which kept theaudience spell bound.  A delicious Thai menu was also on display and I was informed by one of the friends that the ambassador’s wife has spent all day in the kitchen supervising the Thai delicacies which included chicken Satay in appetizers, Tom Yum Soup with Prawn and for main course, Beef Massaman Curry, steamed rice and Stir Fried mixed Vegetables. The dessert was no doubt the show-stopper of the evening.  It was called Sago Melon in Fresh Milk and  it’s fan club is not only limited to  Thailand but reaches as far as Singapore, Taiwan, The Philippines. Sago is made from a starch extracted from the pith of tropical palm trees. Sago pearls   on the other hand come from cassava starch. One can use any fruit with them but mango and melon are the most popular ones informed a Thai diplomat as we carved for more.

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