I AM impressed by the natural beauty and greenery of Pakistan. This is indeed a blessed land. It is full of natural resources. With peace and stability, foreign investment would be massive. The nation is full of talent and hardworking people. It is destined to rise no matter the difficulties and challenges the people are facing. I will always remain a friend and well-wisher of Pakistan.
These were the highlights of a farewell interview with the outgoing Ambassador of Sudan Mr. Mohammed Omer Musa who shared with Pakistan Observer some interesting moments of his diplomatic life while serving in Islamabad.
When Musa was told that he would be stationed in Pakistan, many friends in the media were worried. The media projected Pakistan negatively due to law and order situation. However, When Musa arrived to Islamabad as a member of a military delegation, he assumed his duties as Ambassador of Sudan to Pakistan in the same day.
Additionally, the Prime Minister Sayed Yusuf Reza Gilani gave him the surprise of his life when he invited him to Iftar-Dinner party before presenting his credentials. The prime minister also was keen to seat him on the main table. The message of amity and goodwill to him and Sudan was conveyed in the best possible and powerful manner.
Among sincere friends, protocol can wait.
Musa immediately realized how wrong was international media and how lively is Pakistan, its leaders and people. Those moments would always live with him. They made him determined to promote the bilateral relation in every field.
Overwhelmed by the love and affection shown to him, Musa made a comprehensive plan to lift the relations. He made a comprehensive plan to activate the ties. Before he arrived to Pakistan, the last meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission was held in 1996. Musa immediately worked on resuming the meeting of JMC and was successful in holding the meeting in March 2010. A compressive mechanism was devised by JMC to promote the relations in economic, trade and cultural ties.
The business community in Pakistan has also responded by investing in Sudan. In next August, an investment delegation would visit Sudan to sign an agreement on joint investment.
For Musa, geographic distance is no hindrance to trade and investment. The ties between the two countries and people are deep-rooted and based on common history, culture, customs, traditions and religion.
One characteristic of the bilateral relations is that they remain steady and have never been affected by political changes in the two countries. This would further help invigorate the ties to the benefit of the two peoples.
Having been fascinated by the natural beauty of Pakistan, Musa visited major cities including Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Muree, Peshawar, Charssada, Naushehra, Gilgit- Baltistan and Hyderabad. He also attended social functions by the civil society including wedding parties and was highly impressed by the local traditions, colours, songs and the strong family bonds in the Pakistani society. Musa was particularly moved by the warmth and generosity of the people. Resultantly, he never felt living away from his country.
Answering a question about a memorable occasion in his life while in Pakistan, Musa narrated his visit to Skardu. He, along with other diplomats were invited to attend an investment conference by the government of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The conference was supposed to last two days. However, bad weather compelled the delegates to stay for five days. During the extra three days, the prime minister of Gilgit-Baltistan made an elaborate programme to show the delegates various places in the area and to enjoy breath-taking scenes of majestic nature. He thanks his stars for the most valuable delay.
During the 2010 flooding, Musa accompanied the Sudanese relief team and mixed with the people affected by the flood. He personally supervised distribution of the reliefs among the affectees. He also recommended that Sudan should build a hospital in Sindh as a token of goodwill from the government and people of Sudan.
Musa expressed special thanks to the foreign office for their cooperation and interests in strengthening the bilateral relations especially to foreign secretary Salman Bashir and Additional Secretary for Africa and the Middle East Mr. Muhammad Aslam.
His last message is : Be steadfast and don’t worry. Work hard. And with your talent and dedication, Pakistan would definitely rise.