COLOMBIA WILL OPEN EMBASSY IN PAKISTAN ONLY AFTER BILATERAL COOPERATION IS ENHANCED TO A CERTAIN LEVEL - AMBASSADOR JUAN ALFREDO PINTO

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad (Tazeen Akhtar) Ambassador of Colombia Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra visited Pakistan Islamabad in the last week of October where Colombian Week was organized at Pakistan National Council of Arts. This week brought a conference, cinema festival , documentary screening about  Amazing Amazon, exhibition and last but not the least Salsa dance classes by young and beautiful, Daniela the cultural attaché of Colombia.

Pakistan in the World attended a few programs of this week and found Colombia a very interesting country with respect to its landscape, wilderness, wild and sea life, culture and people.  That liking attracted towards recording an interview and Ambassador was available on the last day of the week during the dance class.

Ambassador said that we have restored peace in our country through dialogue and communication. A national conference in this regard proved to be fruitful. Our peace process focused on victims. Colombia remained affected for 52 years. Now we sat and decided not to stand up without reaching an agreement. All stake holders participated in the dialogue. International community supported this process.  Conference was successful. Peace Process will be beneficial for other countries as well. People want settlements of disputes and restoration of peace. Finally political solution is the ultimate solution.

Ambassador said that we have brought a message in the shape of this week that Colombia and Pakistan both have a common factor that is biodiversity. This week went very positively. We established community relations. Amazon consists of 20 % of the world. Our message is Amazon is for whole world. Pakistani people came to watch the movies and documentaries. It was very pleasant. We received huge response from people of Pakistan. PNCA group also participated in our activities. Media supported us with their coverage.

Mr. Juan Alfredo was quite optimistic about the increase in bilateral trade and investments. To a question about political dialogue with Government of Pakistan, Ambassador said that both countries are clear on that bilateral relations are very important for both. There is great potential of bilateral trade and investment. We have decided to have an exchange of delegations in cultural and entrepreneur sectors in the next year. We also look forward to cooperation between universities. Agreement between Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and University of Colombia has been signed.

 

Replying to a question about opening of full-fledged embassies in both countries, Ambassador said that we need to promote cooperation in trade, tourism, education, culture and political exchanges. Only then we can open embassy in Pakistan. Inter-parliamentary friendship and companies working in both countries are necessary for maintaining embassy in Pakistan. We do not want that we open the embassy first and find the feasibility things afterwards and if we cannot arrange them we close the embassy.

 

 

Exchange of delegations is necessary. We have suggested that now Pakistan Week can be organized in Colombia. We have signed an agreement to abolish visa free regime for diplomats and officials that will make the visits easier and frequent. Further we can facilitate the tourism and business visas as well. We have discussed with officials at Latin America Desk in Foreign Office.

As long as travel is concerned Turkish Air is starting direct flight Istanbul Bogota from May 4 next year. From Islamabad it will take 17 hours approximately to reach Bogota.

Ambassador said that Pakistanis know very less about Colombia and same is true about Colombians. We are working to introduce our country. Colombia has several socio-cultural similarities with Pakistan. There is a lot common in the two countries that can be shared with the people of each other. He said his country is mostly known for the Amazon forest and Gabo. There could be no other special attraction to begin the Columbian festival with.

Mr. Juan Alfredo said that some businesses are on as textile from Pakistan, banana tropical fruits some chemicals swimming wear from Colombia. Pakistani dry fruit has big potential in Colombia. First Colombian Company integral; in consulting engineering has started work in Pakistan. This company has entered into an agreement of a power project of 450 megawatts.

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Columbian Festival by P.N.C.A

The week-long Columbian Festival kicked off at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on 25 Oct with the opening of an exhibition of photographs, ‘the Amazing Amazon’, and the screening of ‘Gabo’, a film on the life of globally admired and well-read Columbian fiction writer Gabriel García Márquez.
More than two dozens of exquisite photographs by Nicolas Van Hemelryck, an adventurist and environmental photographer who turned to be a thrilling filmmaker lately, were put on display. The exhibits reflect the amazing flora and fauna of the world’s largest rain forests that are spread over 5.5 million Km2 covering much of north-western Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries.
Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, famed for its biodiversity. It’s crisscrossed by thousands of rivers, including the powerful Amazon. River towns, with 19th century architecture from rubber-boom days, include Brazil’s Manaus and Belém and Peru’s Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado. Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has been declining since 2004, mostly due to the falling deforestation rate in Brazil. There are a variety of reasons for the decline, including macroeconomic trends, new protected areas and indigenous territories, improved law enforcement, deforestation monitoring via satellite, pressure from environmental groups, and private sector initiatives. 
 Gabriel García Márquez, (born March 6, 1927, Aracataca, Colombia—died April 17, 2014, Mexico City, Mexico), Colombian novelist and one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, mostly for his masterpiece Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a 2015 Colombian documentary directed by Justin Webster about the life story of award-winning writer Gabriel García Márque. It revolves around the life and times of Colombian author Marquez. The documentary includes archival footage, interviews and live footage of author, his family and friends. The novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Marquez remains at the centre of the documentary. The novel became a classic worldwide. The author's friendship with Cuba's legendary Fidel Castro became exemplary and helped many Cuban writers who had been imprisoned. All this and more is seen in the documentary. The film covers author's life from childhood to his demise. Interviews of renowned people including President Bill Clinton are the highlights. Gabo is picture of a man with several dimensions with remarkable feats and achievements but above all a man of reality. The film runs for 90 minutes.

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Syed Jamal Shah
Syed Jamal Shah, the PNCA Director General, said the first ever Columbian festival would pave a path for long-term cultural interaction and exchange between the two countries. He said the Amazon forest and the Nobel prize-winning Gabriel García Márque certainly are the great honour for Columbia and the global identity. There is lot to learn from each other’s culture and heritage, he said.