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SPEECH BY THE ADVISER TO THE PRIME MINISTER ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS GRADUATION CEREMONY OF 36 TH SPECIALIZED COURSE & 24 TH JUNIOR DIPLOMATIC COURSE

(2016-12-30) Director General Foreign Service Academy,
Participants of the 36 th Specialized Diplomatic Course &
24 th Junior Diplomatic Course
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me immense pleasure to be among you this morning for the passing out ceremony of the Specialized Diplomatic Course for the Foreign Service Probationers as well as Junior Diplomatic Course for Foreign participants.

Dear Probationers,

Let me begin by felicitating all of you on the successful completion of

your courses.

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, let me also be the first to welcome the Foreign Service Probationers to the Foreign Office. The end of one journey is always the beginning of another. This is a critical juncture for you. You stand at the threshold of your professional lives, and your promising careers. You are joining the Ministry at a particularly exciting and challenging time. You will find that in the Ministry, while there may be challenges along the way, merit and hard work are always acknowledged and appreciated.

You will have many opportunities for personal growth and enrichment. For today's diplomat, constant knowledge acquisition and skills development is not just a luxury, it's an absolute requirement.

As you enter your professional lives, we expect you to maintain and uphold a high level of motivation, hard work, honesty and integrity that are the great hallmarks of this service.

Soon you will hold the flag of this country in your hands, a flag that commands from you, your unflinching loyalty, devotion and dedication beyond the call of duty.

I have also been informed that 10 Probationers of 36 th Specialized Diplomatic Course will be proceeding to the Netherland's Institute of International Relations; "Clingendael" for a six-week training course. I am sure it would be a rich experience for them. Those of you who could not it make it to the Clingendael, will have ample opportunities for other courses in the near future.

Lastly, I would like our young diplomats to remember what the father of the nation, Quaid-e- Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had said. He had observed and I quote:-

"Our objective should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large. We have no aggressive designs against anyone. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our full contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world."

I wish you continued success in your professional and personal development.

Now, a few words for our foreign friends

Dear participants of the 24 th Junior Diplomatic Course

I wish to congratulate you for successfully completing your short training at the Foreign Service Academy. I understand that your decision to attend a course in a foreign country especially during the festive season of Christmas might not have been an easy one but I am glad that you did. I have been told that you all have done well and shown real sense of professionalism and intellectual curiosity during your training programme.

As you all know, the Pakistan of today is a strong and vibrant nation of nearly two hundred million people. Our country is richly endowed with human and natural resources. It is strategically located at the cross-roads of three vital regions of the world. We are seeking friendship and cooperation with the international community. We are committed to a secure world order based on freedom, Justice and equity. We are committed to seek an end to poverty and promotion of socio-economic development across the world. We are facing threats from terrorism and militancy but then the government has initiated a series of measures to contain and eliminate this menace through National Action Plan (NAP) with considerable success. We are determined not to let the toxic brew of terrorism and extremism succeed. I hope that the seminars and discussions covering the capacity building topics as well as important regional and international issues have been helpful in brushing your knowledge about the challenges in international relations and diplomacy.

I am sure your visits to various cities and institutions have helped broaden your knowledge and understanding about Pakistan, its people, culture, cuisine and economic potential as against the skewed narratives projected in the media.

I am pleased to learn that the Foreign Service Academy has constantly endeavored to stay ahead of the curve. The Academy has not only produced some outstanding diplomats who have represented Pakistan with great distinction and honour but also trained over 1200 diplomats from friendly countries, some of them working at very senior positions in their respective countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen

With these words, I would like to again convey my felicitations to the diplomats of 36th Specialized Diplomatic Course and 24th Junior Diplomatic Course on the successful completion of their training at the Academy and wish them success in their future endeavors. I am sure the bonds of friendship you have built your stay in Pakistan, will become stronger in the years to come and will contribute to improve relations among countries.

Thank you