65th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Pakistan & Portugal - East-West Contact over the History of Centuries

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad (Report;Tazeen Akhtar-Camera; Ramzan Mughal) Portugal remained a world power for many decades in the history. Portugal was the very first country that connected Europe with Asia, especially South Asia, centuries back. Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama is known in Indo Pak Sub Continent very well. He was the first from Portugal and Europe to land on the port of Calicut on 20 May 1498. Goa is another symbol of Portuguese connection in the sub continent a very beautiful tourist destination on the east coast of India. Rest is the history. Trade of Pepper and Cinnamon and other items flourished in that era. The British and other European explorers were only able to follow Vasco’s discovered route to the orient after 100 long years. Since then Portugal has maintained its relations with South Asia and after partition 1947, connection continued with Pakistan as well.

(Cap; Tazeen Akhtar & Ramzan Mughal)

In modern world, Portugal and Pakistan enjoy very cordial relations. Both countries are working together to enhance mutual cooperation in variety of sectors including trade and people to people contacts. To mark these friendly relations history, on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of Presentation of Credentials by the First Portuguese Diplomatic Envoy to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, The Charge d Affairs En pied of the Republic of Portugal Mr Joao Paulo Sabido Costa in collaboration with Diplomatic Focus/Diplomatic council (DC), a grand reception was hosted on Sep 9, 2017.

Mian Fazal Elahi of Diplomatic Focus and Mr. Joao Paulo Sabido Costa were the host of this magnificent ceremony in which a large number of notables from different walks of life participated to express their solidarity and warm feelings for both countries relations. Ambassadors of Brazil, Spain, Cuba, Netherlands, Sweden, Ukraine, Tunisia, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and diplomats from Hungary, Czech Republic, South Korea, France and other countries were also present.

Mian Fazal Elahi in his inaugural speech apprised the participants salient features of bilateral relations. He suggested that people to people contacts and VVIP delegates’ visits are key to increasing the present cordial relations into more stronger and robust cooperation.

Charge d Affairs of the Republic of Portugal Mr Joao Paulo Sabido Costa presented a brief about history of establishment of relations. He said that Pakistan and Portugal share a long history together that, eventually, proceeds in several centuries, to the independence of Pakistan.

But most important in order to underline the friendship between our countries, is-in the year of the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan-recall the first Portuguese Diplomatic Envoy, who presented credentials in Karachi in 1952,65 years ago.

I must say that, for the moment, I am not able to attest the proper date of the establishment of diplomatic relations. I know that in 1949 the Portuguese Gov published a decree deciding the opening of a diplomatic mission in Karachi.

Therefore after all the arrangements- that then were a bit slower that would be today-the first Envoy could, finally several years after ,in 1952 – presented credentials to Pakistan.

His name was Antonio Jose Alves Junior and, at the time, was accommodated at the Metropole Karachi.

He was definitely a senior diplomat being born in 1895 and having studied Law at the University of Lisbon. He and several diplomatic and consular appointments, to London, Liverpool ,Port of Spain(Trinidad and Tobago), Bombay, Shanghai, Consul General in New York and Paris. Further he was appointed Extraordinary Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary to Lima(Peru in 1945, accredited to Quito ()(Equator) in 1948, and Caracas (1949,), having finally being designated to Karachi.

The opening of an Embassy in Karachi had , no doubt, a very important impact on the relations between Portugal and Pakistan opening ways to a path of cooperation never disturbed along these 65 years.

But I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to felicitate Pakistan for its 70th Anniversary, As well, for all the wellbeing and progress achieved by the country along all those years. For Portugal, it is honour to be a friend of Pakistan due to the respect we share towards its people, history and relevant role performed within the international society.

Long live Pakistan.

Ambassador of Brazil, H.E Mr. Claudio Lins ,in his address said that  Portugal and Brazil are from same family. Our feelings are closer to each other, as well as friendly  and brotherly we find ourselves. Portugal is favorit destination for Brazilians. Both countries know how to deal with each other.

Mr Lins congratulated Portugal and Pakistan on celebrating the 65th anniversary. He said that Mr. Joao Paulo Sabido Costa is a sweet diplomat. He took new initiatives to strengthening the bilateral relations with Pakistan. He expressed best wishes for the future endeavors.

Former Minister for State External Affairs, Malik Emad ud Din said that Portugal is an important country with a dynamic role in world community. Pakistan attaches great importance to relations with Portugal. Both countries can further enhance their cooperation with the exchange of delegations from different spheres of life.

Ambassador R Tariq Afreedi also addressed the audience and shared his views about bilateral relations and history of establishment of diplomatic ties.

" Pakistan in the World " congratulates both countries on this auspiceous occasion. We also hail the efforts of Mian Fazal Elahi to building and enhancing the relations of his country with Portugal and the whole world in general. We wish the best to Mr. Joao Paulo Sabido Costa for cementing the mutual ties with his hard work and concentration on his work. Centureis ago, a Portugeues dared to travel the longest sea route bringing closer the east and the west. And today another Portugeues is further promoting centuries old relations into a meaningful, mutually beneficial friendship.