Paris, France (By yaser ilyas): The first ever advocacy group, the “Association of Friends of Pakistan” was launched during a simple yet impressive ceremony held in the Embassy of Pakistan in Paris yesterday.
The ceremony was attended by a large number of people including former French Ambassadors to Pakistan, representatives of French companies doing business in Pakistan, scholars, researchers, journalists and officials from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Parliament.
Speaking on the occasion, the Ambassador of Pakistan to France, Mr. Moin ul Haque termed the launching of this Friendship Association as a milestone in Pakistan-France relations. He stated that the Association will bring together people from all walks of life and would serve as an effective forum to strengthen the existing friendly relations and to facilitate in further developing economic, cultural and educational linkages between Pakistan and France.
Mr. Pierre Lafrance, former Ambassador of France to Pakistan, Mr. Thierry Pflimlin, President of France-Pakistan Business Council, Ms. Aurore Didier, Head of France Archeological Mission in Pakistan, Dr. Bruno Figadere, French Biochemist, working with Pakistani universities, Mr. Olivier Lapidus, French renowned fashion designer who helped to establish the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, Lahore and Ms. Sonia Barbry, Deputy Director (South Asia) in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs also spoke on the occasion. All speakers welcomed this initiative and extended their full support to make it a success.
The Association of Friends of Pakistan will be registered under the French laws and will have a Bureau to manage its affairs. It will organize various events to promote relations between the two countries.
A presentation tracing 70 years of Pakistan-France relations was also shown at the occasion.
Later guests were also entertained with a dinner offering popular dishes from both Pakistan and France.