Impressions about my visit to France: by Dr. Donya Aziz, Parliamentary Secretary for Population Welfare
France and Pakistan have a rich history extending far beyond the realms of diplomatic relations. The French Government and Civil Society’s emphatic assistance in the aftermath of the October 8th earthquake, the cultural activities of the Alliance française, longstanding defense cooperation, business and investment activities, and the recent visit of a French Parliamentary delegation are but a few examples of the depth and breadth of Pak-French ties. As part of France’s commitment to our strong relationship, I was privileged and proud to recently represent Pakistan as a part of the French Distinguished Visitor’s Program.
France’s rich history, culture, art, cuisine, and fashion are known the world over and have certainly made their impact in Pakistan as well. However, I personally feel affinity to France’s credo of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. For me this trilogy of defining principles mirrors our beloved Qaid’s doctrine of Unity, Faith, and Discipline.
During my visit to France I was impressed by the invigorated efforts to ensure that the principle of equality is secured among all segments of French society. This positive endeavor was conveyed whole heartedly by members of both Civil Society and Government alike. I was pleased to note that “égalité” (equality) was incorporated into departments varying from housing and employment to women’s affairs. Among the various efforts undertaken in this regard, I was struck most by France’s commitment to streamlining processes for the many immigrants who chose to make France their new home. I admire the French Government’s dedication to infusing and securing the principle of equality for all.
The highlights of my visit to France were the people I met and interacted with. I was delighted by their warm welcomes, vibrant briefings, and profound interest in Pakistan. It was a pleasure to see the French people’s eagerness in strengthening and broadening the ties between our two countries.
I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to France on this National Day that 217 years ago marked the beginning of a new French era. I wish the citizens and the Government of France all the best as they continue as a strategic ally and progressive friend of Pakistan.
Dr. Donya Aziz
Parliamentary Secretary for Population Welfare