Mov­ing farewell and hearty wel­come for John and Belinda

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL - SALAHUD­DIN HAIDER

It was in­deed a mem­o­rable evening. A select gath­er­ing of em­i­nent per­son­al­i­ties of a city, known for its warmth, hos­pi­tal­ity, and full of life, even dur­ing worst of times were present. The oc­ca­sion was a re­cep­tion hosted by the out­go­ing Bri­tish Deputy High Com­mis­sioner, John An­thony Truc­knott and wel­com­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously his suc­ces­sor, a charm­ing Bilenda Lewis. John a “jolly good fel­low” as they in English, is al­ways smil­ing, friendly, and hos­pitable, but was rather glum at leav­ing Karachi, of which he had “fond mem­o­ries”, but which he has to leave now, like all other civil ser­vants, fi­nally after a mem­o­rable ten­ure.

In brief speech at the Em­pir­i­cal Ac­ton House, of­fi­cial res­i­dence of the of head of diplo­matic mis­sion in Karachi, he hosted the re­cep­tion in­side the house to avoid in­con­ve­nience to guests in case of rains, which has now fi­nally set in.

He tried to be in his own, smil­ing and jovial, but could not hide his sor­row for leav­ing large num­ber of friends, which he had won here, and with which he had some lovely time of his life. Karachi, he said, was a “won­der­ful, won­der­ful” city, and Pak­istan a lovely coun­try, bound to rise to its po­ten­tial of be­ing a re­ally great coun­try in Asia.

Belinda, com­ing fresh from London, has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is fa­mil­iar with Mus­lim and re­gional tra­di­tions, psy­che of its peo­ple, and felt at home, her face glow­ing with hap­pi­ness for be­ing among such lovely gath­er­ing, and hop­ing to con­tinue the mis­sion of build­ing ties with Pak­istan like his pre­de­ces­sors. “Even if if could achieve half of what John has achieved in pro­mot­ing bi­lat­eral eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal ties and build­ing Bri­tish in­vest­ment here, I will feel happy” she said, a re­mark­able smile light­ing her face.

Prom­i­nent among those present were Se­nior Sindh Min­is­ter Nisar Khuhro, Tehrik-i-In­saaf MNA Dr Arif Alvia, and his wife, en­tre­pre­neur of re­pute Byram D Avari, his son Din­shaw and wife, Pak­istan’s for­mer per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the UN, Hus­sain Ha­roon, for­mer am­bas­sador Zia Is­pa­hani, Con­suls gen­eral of United States, France, Bangla Desh and In­done­sia, Brian Heath, Fran­coise Dol­loross, Noore-He­lal Sai­fur Rehman, and Hadi San­toso with his pretty wife, Wati, the num­ber two at US con­sulate Chad Peter­son, and his coun­ter­parts at Ger­man and Swiss con­sulates. Among the en­trepreneurs were Kalim Fa­rooqui, Wa­jid Junejo from En­gro and quite a few other dig­na­to­ries, John will fly out of Karachi Sun­day, but will keep com­ing back on pri­vate vis­its, for, he loves Karachi and its peo­ple. He can not for­get his friends in Karachi and Pak­istan, he said.

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