Sayyidah Fizzah Shakil
KARACHI: A visit to the Chinese Consulate on a recent Friday evening was an experience that will be long remembered.
The newly posted Consul General Li Bijian not only proved to be a very hospitable host furthering the oriential tradition but also enlightened the guests by his most eloquent and lucid talk on various issues of mutual interest.
I was supremely impressed by the impeccable courtesy meted out to me especially since I am currently disabled because of a minor injury to my leg.
My car was allowed to go inside the consulate despite the strictest possible security, and the staff on ground readily helped me with my wheel chair.
Li Bijian himself welcomed me inside the spacious lounge decorated tastefully but simply, and enquired about my cast laden leg.
The evening began on quite a pleasant and jovial note and all the invitees who were mostly members of the Karachi Editors Club started to intermingle amongst each other and the revered host Li Bijian and his staff also gelled in with the guests.
I would commend the highest standard of immaculate personal attention that was extended by the host to each individual guest and it seemed that all the guests and the hosts were close friends for long.
Vice Consul General Chen Xiaodong was also among the hosts and fully indulged in interactive chats. He also showed his concern about my ill broken leg and wished me early recovery.
The members of Karachi Editors Club are all very senior professionals working in the field of journalism. Many of them are editors and executive editors and a few are renowned columnists.
The body is headed by Mubashir Mir in the capacity of President, while Manzar Naqvi is the Secretary General.
Prominent writers include Colonel (Retd) Mukhtar Butt and Agha Masood Hussain to name a couple among many notables. The beauty of the body is that it is well represented by senior female journalists like Syeda Khursheed Haider and rest.
Karachi Editors’ Club under the leadership of able people is evolving in a progressive think-tank.
After a while of light hearted chit-chat the dinner was served which had a number of sumptuous dishes.
Following the dinner a photo session took place which continued for quite a few lengthy minutes. After that I was finally able to record an exclusive interview with the CG Li Bijian.
During his talk Li Bijan touched upon very relevant and pertinent points regarding mutual relations between Pakistan and China, the tense and difficult regional situation, possibility of China playing a role of a mediator between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir issue. He also appreciated the role of Pakistan in bringing peace back in the region and lamented the other international powers for not acknowledging the efforts of Pakistan and said that Pakistan deserved better in terms of actions done in the realm of FATF.
Answering a question regarding the challenges faced by Pakistan he stressed that the nation en mass had all the potential to become a super power if it could just focus on at least four aims. To have directed policies, eradicate radicalisation, overcome the economic crunch and finally synthesised political cohesion.
He reminded that this was the very vision of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
After fully immersing in the intellectual depth of our wonderful host I asked permission to leave.
Sweetly impressed with the graciousness and grandeur of the evening I bid my farewells and returned to my abode…
What nice memories!