WASHINGTON, May 6 : A feast of color and music at the Pakistani embassy provided a perfect opportunity for Pakistanis and Americans to foster mutual understanding as they enjoyed some of the popular Pakistani songs and cuisine.
While visitors, who thronged the culturally bedecked Pakistani embassy Saturday liked the “Bhangra” music, officials from the two sides also sounded upbeat on the power of people-to-people interaction, as the two sides endeavor to move the stalled relationship forward.
“Today, the massive response of the people clearly shows that the people want to know about Pakistan,” Asad M Khan, Pakistan’s deputy chief of mission, said.
“Our country is not about bullets and bombs (as portrayed in some parts of the media ) — it is a much more vibrant culture — it has a lot to offer to the world.”
Khan said it was wonderful to see that so many people from multicultural backgrounds visited the embassy and saw the soft image of Pakistan.
Tim Lenderking, Director Pakistan Affairs Office at the State Department, was also among the prominent visitors, who experienced the Pakistani cultural event.
“I think people read a lot about Pakistan and Pakistanis read a lot about the United States . So when people can actually get away from headlines and newspapers and interact with each other, they see how rich Pakistani culture is,” he remarked.
Lenderking, who Friday evening also attended a concert of Pakistan’s mega singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in Washington, praised the color, energy and vivacity of Pakistani culture and music.
“I just came back from Pakistan with my boss Marc Grossman (U.S. Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan) — we had very intensive engagement with the government of Pakistan, “ Lenderking said referring to talks aimed at resolving difference between the two sides.
He said the United States and Pakistan are striving to address some tough (counterterrorism) issues but saw commitment to the relationship on both sides.
The Pakistani embassy was one of the most frequented destinations among some 40 locations for visitors on the occasion of Passport DC’s Around the World Embassy Tour.
The sights and sounds of Pakistani culture projected through costumes, jewelry, artifacts and music and irresistible smells of the Pakistani famous food dishes like kabab, chicken tikka, chaat and samosa became major attractions.
Sources: MGCT, Pakistan Embassy, State Department. By Ali Imran
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