Syed Zaigham Hussain
Q. Excellency what was your first reaction when you heard that you are posted to Pakistan as Consul General?
A. I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to your esteemed magazine for inviting me to this dialogue. I also take this opportunity to welcome this talk with you about a country that has a special place in my heart, and always cherish it. Moreover, I had some friends from Pakistan, from whom I learned a lot about this country, in addition to the information that I received during my studies, as the matter of fact when I was nominated for this assignment, first, I was very happy due to the confidence placed by my senior leadership to selected me for this country which is considered as a great strategic importance to my country, and Second, extreme of my passion for this country that I dreamed to visit it many times, There is no doubt that the choice of this country of civilization, and history will gain me a lot of experiences that will contribute to strengthening my abilities and skills in the diplomatic field in particular and in my personal life in general, and I hope to put a distinctive mark during my working here as Consul General in Karachi the most wonderfully and magnificent cit .
Q. Excellency please informs little bit about your diplomatic career?
A. In general, diplomacy is a profession that allows to know the cultures of others and to bring countries together with each other; the good diplomat must have the characteristics of human relations and good behavior. Diplomacy is a mixture of science, art, morality and respect for others. Some may has innate gifts, but diplomacy will sharpen their personality by practicing, persevering, following up and reading a lot, learning languages and looking at files in depth and seriousness.
The diplomat should also have special characteristics such as high human relations, ethics, good behavior and persuasion because he is the front of his country and an honorable model, and the innate readiness is not enough to form a successful diplomat. The person must strive to build himself and develop his skills. I chose the profession of diplomacy because it is a profession where there is no boredom and it allows identifying the cultures of different countries with their traditions, policies and culture. I consider this profession by virtue of contact with people who disagree with me in language and customs, helping to open up to the other and satisfy the values of dialogue and tolerance and accept disagreement and debate while respecting the local privacy of the host country.
I also try in my profession to contribute to bringing my country closer to the countries in which I worked, to strengthen relations with it, and to defend its interests, beside to protect the interests of its citizens, as well as to serve the people of Pakistan who wish to visit my country and to do everything I can to achieve these goals. I have worked in this field for 18 years and I done practiced in many countries such as Egypt, India and China, as well as Pakistan, “the good, pure land” which we classify it as “priority countries” as it is vibrant and requires a continuous effort in the diplomatic work, in addition to my work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE, and the Arab League, and the United Nations.
Q. Excellency, In Your opinion how does diplomacy serve bilateral relations between countries such as Pakistan and the UAE?
A. Diplomacy often serves the bilateral relations between the two countries. It is well-known in our field that the diplomat, in his own style, relations, and thought, can serve his country and strengthen its relations with the host country. Diplomatic work always comes after political action, so the foreign policy is an extension of the domestic policy for any country, So if the diplomat is working where there is existed of strong relations between his country and the host country in such a situation like what I now, the UAE and Pakistan, two countries with strong and strategic ties that have made the relationship stable and strong in its power. In such a case diplomatic work is easier and more productive, although it requires intensive efforts to promote and develop relations on an ongoing basis, so what I mean is that diplomacy built politics. If the political relations were strong, diplomatic relations were also strong and thus the diplomatic effort increased despite the ease of the working environment.
Q. Excellency please says few words about Pakistan United Arab Emirates relations.
A. The UAE and Pakistan enjoy close relations and historical ties that are distinguished politically, economically, culturally and socially, which represent a unique situation in the Arab-Asian relations in the region. The mutual relations reflect the broad cooperation in various fields, the effects of which extend from economy and trade to fruitful and strong cooperation in security and defense.
Pakistan is one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the UAE, reflecting the depth of historical relations between the two peoples, and reflects the presence of 1.6 million people from the Pakistani community in the UAE Contributing effectively to the national economy and to the growth and prosperity of the UAE, reflecting the interdependence and cohesion between the two friendly countries.
Q. Dear Excellency please informs what target has you set to enhance both brotherly country bilateral relations.
A. To provide all possible facilities and follow-up the launch of the UAE’s development and humanitarian projects in Pakistan, which confirms the commitment of the UAE to stand always with the people of Pakistan.
Q. Excellency United Arab Emiratis Government is doing lot of charity works and projects in Pakistan please share some details specially in Sindh area.
A. Roads & Bridges: Establishment of modern roads and bridges, the provision of transportation between regions and cities, and to facilitate the mobility and movement of members of the community.
Education Field: Building, maintaining and qualifying schools, colleges and educational institutions, contributing to the development of educational infrastructure, and qualifying students with scientific qualifications and training experiences for the future.
Water saving: Construction of treatment water and extension networks, to provide safe drinking water for cities and villages especially in the province of Sindh, to eliminate the problem of water unsuitable for use.
Health field: Build, maintain and rehabilitate hospitals, Medical clinics Mobile to provide modern health care to Pakistani families, especially in Sindh province, and alleviate their suffering and prevent them from diseases and epidemics.
Humanitarian field: Distribute humanitarian aid to the poor, orphans, needy and displaced people, provide food and health care to them, and help them overcome adversity especially in Sindh province.
Q. Excellency in the Holy month of Ramadan, UAE government handing over food and other relief item to the needy and poor people. Please inform us what the Consulate General has done in this Ramadan especially in the fields of charitable work.
A. The holy month of Ramadan, the month of worship and charity, as the matter of fact many charities from the UAE have already commissioned us to oversee the distribution of aid and charitable programs, including the initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, “Mother of the Emirates” to send baskets of food and other assistance such as desalination and distribution of drinking water in addition to the assistance of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and charities such as the UAE Red Crescent and Khalifa bin Zayed Charity and Zayed for humanitarian work of distributing baskets and materials relief and breakfast for the needy and the poor, especially in the province of Sindh throughout the holy month.
Q. Excellency please share your personal feeling about Pakistan most largest city Karachi about its culture, building, foods etc.
A. Pakistan is a great country with its appreciation, weight and global importance. It is a country of honor not only for the continent of Asia but also for the Islamic world as a whole. The city of Karachi is a city that is vibrant, cultural and civilized. It is charming in the morning and at night. It is a wonderful coastal city that makes you spend your weekly holidays in new places. I love Karachi and I think it is a beautiful city to live in and to learn many of them and the culture of Sindh in general,
And I think that what I learned through my stay in Karachi during this short period helped me to understand many things in the other cities where I stayed or visited, it has a special culture and a wonderful natural environment Everything in this city is beautiful and especially the cricket sport I started to learn and love very much After I did not know anything about it the past, I saw the final match recently between the teams Peshawar zalami and Quetta and I enjoyed very much the game in Karachi and I was very impressed with the organization of the match and the joy of the masses and celebrations after the victory.
Q. Excellency there are a lot of trade memorandums of understanding signed between Pakistan and the UAE government Can you remind us?
A. Agreement to protect and encourage investments;
Agreement on cooperation in the field of trade;
Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation on Income;
United Arab Emirates have finalized packages of 3 billion deposits to enhance cash reserves of foreign currency to Pakistan & help its balance of payments crisis.
Q. Excellency what Pakistani food you like?
A. Generally I like most Pakistani food where I used to eat these wonderful foods in the UAE, and most of the Pakistani cuisine is similar to the favorite foods in the UAE, so I like most Pakistani foods that have a very distinctive taste, and especially I love the Sajji and I think it is a traditional cuisine The way to prepare grills and fish in Pakistan is very beautiful and show a distinctive way in its preparation, presentation and taste, as well as fruits and vegetables are very distinctive, especially mango, and I really liked Pakistani food since my arrival to Karachi and I see that the Pakistani kitchens is the best Global kitchens.
Q. Excellency what suggestion you want to give to our people to make our city more clean and vibrant?
A. The city of Karachi is a well-organized and administratively organized city that allows for continuous development and modernization, where authorities have filled the sea shore with sand to create a new projects, and this effort is large, unusual, and should be distinct for the organizers of this city, and always countries consider the models of cities evaluated according to global indicators in terms of cleanliness and freshness and enables those who make use of this expertise and I can organize in this framework Some visits to Pakistani officials to my country.
Q. Please, forward your message to the Pakistani community at the end of the conversation.
A. Pakistani society is an open and developed society and you are one of the largest Muslim countries in the world in population. The Pakistani personality is a polite and integrated personality. The combination of many good qualities is integrated from all moral, intellectual, social and cultural aspects and the love of their national identity. I see many Pakistani innovators in different disciplines and in all countries who raise the name of their country high and the honorable face of this distinguished society. Everyone here in Karachi is working tirelessly to develop their country. Its success and achievements for a promising future for them and future generations.
Q. Can you tell us about the most tourist destinations that can be visited in the UAE?
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center;
2. Yas Island;
3. Dubai Mall;
4. Palm Jumeirah;
5. Burj Khalifa;
6. Burj Al Arab;
7. Dibba Al Fujairah beach;
8. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization;
9. Dubai aquarium; and
10. Global village.
Q. What are the most popular areas in Karachi consider as a tourist attraction?
> Quaid’s Mausoleum
> Clifton Beach, Karachi
> Pakistan Maritime Museum
> Do Darya
> Ibn-e-Qasim Park
> Tooba Masjids
> Dolman mall
> French beach
> Fishing area
Q. Can you tell us about the events that the UAE has established in the “Year of Tolerance” this year?
n In celebration of the Year of Tolerance, I, along with staff members of the Consulate General of UAE, Karachi, planted the “Ghaf Tree” at the premises of the Consulate General in Karachi, in the presence of H.E. Nasir Shah Minister for Religious Affairs, Forest & Wildlife, Sindh.
n In conjunction with the year of tolerance, I, along with staff members of the Consulate General visited Deaf Reach School & College where flowers were distributed among the special persons. The visit comes to promote the spirit of solidarity among the determined community members in Karachi.
n In conjunction with the year of tolerance, we launched the initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Emirates, to support poor & needy families in Sindh province, and also inspected the project of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak to provide safe drinking water for Kathor area in Sindh Province.
n In conjunction with the year of tolerance , I supervised Aftar (fasting Breakfast) a Project for Holy month of Ramadan, sponsored by the UAE Red Crescent, at Anwar ul Quran Jamya Masjid, Gillani Alqadrya Masjid in chondko khairpur and Jama Masjid in Sikenderabad, and also at Meher Goth Kadenwari in Sindh province. Besides that, we distributed dates with ration to Islamic organizations, several mosques and poor families during the Holy Month of Ramadan in Karachi.
n In conjunction with the year of tolerance, I organized programs in various areas in Karachi city to distribute Ramadan essentials baskets for needy families, including the distribution of comprehensive food baskets (1000 families) in addition to Ramadan meals of the UAE Red Crescent.
n In conjunction with Year of Tolerance & Holy month of Ramadan, I and Dar Al Sukon Center for Special needs & orphans in Karachi held initiative to meet residents of the Center and to provide them humanitarian assistance provided by the United Arab Emirates via UAE Red Crescent.
n In conjunction with Year of Tolerance & Holy month of Ramadan, I launched the best diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive & surgical treatment under Supervision of volunteer doctors from UAE and Pakistan in province of sindh, as well as Under the patronage of H.E. Hamad Alzaabi, the UAE Ambassador, the Consulate General of UAE in Karachi launched Sheikha Fatima international humanitarian campaign “the UAE- Pakistan volunteer medical program” in province of Sindh.