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Grand Reception organized by Nepal-Pakistan Friendship & Cultural Association

14 September, 2013

 Nepal - Pakistan close neighbors and good friend

Kathmandu: On the auspicious occasion of 65th Independence Day of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Nepal-Pakistan Friendship & Cultural Association (NPFCA) organized a grand Reception with talk programe on 14th August 2012 Tuesday at Hotel Radisson, Kathmandu.

Rt. Hon. Vice-President Mr. Parmanada Jha was the chief guest. Hon. Comrade Mr. C.P. Gajurel, Secretary of Unified CPN- Maoist, Hon. Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, Former Foreign Minister and  Senior Leader of Nepali Congress Party,  Hon. Mr. C.P. Mainali, General Secretary of CPN-ML and Mr. Tika Jung Thapa, Chairman of Nepal Council of World Affaires also spoke at the programme.

H.E. Mr. Arshad Saud Khosa, Charge d’ affaires, Embassy of Pakistan also delivered the speech.

While congratulating to the Government and the people of Pakistan on the occasion of Independence Day of Pakistan, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Bharat Mohan Adhikari has said, Pakistan and Nepal are close neighbors and good friend since decades. Both the countries enjoy very cordial and cooperative relations which we greatly value this relationship.

Mr. Adhikari recalled his visit to Islamabad in the capacity of a Finance Minister in 1995 heading a Nepali delegations for the 4th Nepal-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission Meeting and said, It is a pleasant coincidence that visit was accompanies by Mr. Himalaya Shumsher Rana who is now presiding on this happy occasion. We had discussed various matters related to trade, economic and technical cooperation. Similar meeting was planed early this year, unfortunately it could not be held due to some unavoidable circumstances in Pakistan during that time. And he hope that the new date for this meeting will be fixed in a convenient date for both the countries through the diplomatic channel.

Further  he said,  Pakistan and Nepal are trying to boost  the pace of our relations, particularly in the various fields of economic and trade areas. Foreign Secretary level bilateral consultation have been institutionalized. Pakistan-Nepal Joint Economic Commissions (JEC), which  is a forum to discuss economic and technical cooperation matters. At the political level, through various high level visits and meetings, we share common position on various global and regional issues. SAARC is another forum where we share our common concerns. Several bilateral agreements and MOUS have been signed between our two countries in the areas of tourism, agriculture, air services, culture, trade and avoidance of double taxation. Pakistan is providing technical assistance to Nepal in various sectors including health, infrastructure and education. A number of Nepali students are studying in various academic programs in Pakistan’s colleges.

On that occasion, while  thanking to the Government of Pakistan for providing such help to Nepal, he said that  In 2007/08 the export from Nepal to Pakistan was equivalent to NRS. 80.7 million and import from Pakistan was equivalent to NRS. 180 million, resulting in Nepal’s trade gap of approximately NRs. 100 million. In 2008/09, export increase by about NRs. Six million to 86 million while imports increased by a huge magnitude of NRs. 69 million to NRs. 249 million. In 2009/10, export slightly fell down to NRs. 79 million while imports increased by more than 100 million to NRs. 281 million. These figures show that Nepal is incurring a huge deficit in its trade with Pakistan. Nepali entrepreneurs to enhance their efforts to increase export volume to Pakistan. In terms of commodities, major products exported to Pakistan are cardamom, textile items, hides, spectacle lenses, malt and milk powder. Major import items from Pakistan to Nepal are : Dry fruits, cement, pet bottles, medicines and chemicals, cotton items, furniture, medical equipments and machineries. The lack of land route across Indian territory between our two countries has been impeding the growth of trade flows. Access by land route will be agreed upon and trade flows between our two countries will grow multi-fold. In the mean time, we can use air routes at the maximum level by selecting very suitable products.

He also said that, "The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and other private entrepreneurs are trying their best to further strengthen trade relations and enhance investment. There are abundant tourism potentialities between our two countries, particularly in mountain, adventure and cultural  tourism."

He mentioned the name of an institution that is really playing a vital role in strengthening people to people relations between Nepal and Pakistan, and in promoting bilateral relations in the sphere of trade and tourism. And that institution is – one other than Nepal - Pakistan Friendship and Cultural Association.

He came to know that this Association was created back in 1970 in Nepal. He is happy to know that this Association is playing a significant role in consolidating people to people contact and enhancing mutual respect between our two countries.”

On the occasion, H.E. Charge d’ affairs of Embassy of Pakistan Mr. Ahmer Ismail said that , …..

While congratulating to the People of  Pakistan, on the occasion of the Independence Day, Former Foreign Minister and Senior Leader of Nepali Congress Party Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat said that Nepal and Pakistan has cordial relations and would witness further progress in the bilateral ties in the years to come. He said the two nations shared commonalities in many fields.

Hon. Comrade Mr. C.P Gajurel who is the Secretary of Unified CPN-Maoist highlighted on the friendly relations between Nepal and Pakistan and appreciated the Pakistan Government scholarships to Nepalese students. He also congratulated to the Government and to the people on the occasion of Independence Day of Pakistan.

Hon. Mr. C.P. Mainali, General Secretary of CPN-ML said that both the nations experienced similar kinds of political struggles in the past.

Mr. Mainali highlighted on Nepal-Pakistan relations and said the two countries had been sharing excellent bilateral ties for the last five decades.

Mr. Tika Jung Thapa, Chairman of Nepal Council of World Affairs said that the two countries needed to fight ‘foreign interference’ in their respective countries.

In his welcome speech, NPFCA Chief Mr. Himalaya Shumsher Rana said, “ As a relatively small, land-locked country, sandwiched between our two giant neighbouring countries, we Nepalese have had to confront and address their concerns. Also, we have had to deal with waves of international concern that are floated from time to time irrespective of our internal situation and state of socio-economic development. Our relationship with Pakistan has been exemplary in as much as it has been characterized by principles of mutual respect for independence and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

Further Mr. Rana said, “In the supermarkets of Kathmandu one can buy Kiwi fruit from New Zealand, Mangosteen from Bangkok or apples from China but not sweet mangoes, juicy kinoos or aromatic Basmati rice  from Pakistan. Perhaps not in my life time but one of these days access between our two countries via land route across India will open and their trade between our two countries will grow manifold. There is indeed great potential.

NPFCA General Secretary Mr. Manju Ratna Sakya said that, Pakistan is one of the trusted and old friend of Nepal.

He said that Nepal-Pakistan Friendship & Cultural Association was established and registered in 1961 (9th Magha 2018 Monday) from the Government of Nepal after the establishment of Diplomatic relations between Nepal and Pakistan in 1960. The main objectives of NPFCA are to strengthen cordial ties, mutual and friendly relations between our two countries through the people to people level. As per Nepalese Government rules and regulations, NPFCA is renewed every year. Likewise, NPFCA is only one Association in Nepal which has received the Tax Free (Exemped) certificate. This Association At the Recepetion, Video on Islamabad was also shown which was highly appreciated by all.

At the Recepetion, Vice-Chairman of Unified CPN-Moist Comrade Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, Former Prime Minister  Mr. Surya Bahadur Thapa, Former Ministers including Mr. Salim Miya Ansari & Mr. Prakash Koirala, Ambassadors, Members of  the Diplomatic Corps, UN officials, Former Nepalese Ambassadors to Pakistan, officials of Embassy of Pakistan, Leaders of the Political Parties, Higher Nepalese Govt. officials including Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Madan Bhattarai and Chief of Protocal Mr. Mukti Nath Bhatt, SAARC Director (Pakistan) as well as Lions Clubs international District Governor Mr. M.D. Agrawal were present. Likewise, Pakistanese based in Kathmandu, Executives of Everest K2 Society, Pakistan Study Center  and Nepal-Pak Chamber of Commerce, Industrialists, Business Persons, Doctors, Professors, Advocates, Engineers, Media Persons, Senior Film Artists as well as large number of persons from various walks of life were also present.

The musical programme was performed by Dharmendra group.