Altaf Hamid Rao.
MIRPUR (AJK): Like rest of the world, International Postal Day was also observed in Azad Jammu & Kashmir on Wednesday to raise awareness among the people about the significance of the postal services in this regime of fastest means of communications including internet and SMS.
The universal postal day is celebrated every year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Since then, countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations. The Posts in many countries use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services.
In 2015 countries all over the world committed themselves to working together towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequality and injustice, and take action to reverse climate change–to name just some of these 17 agreed new Goals. Playing its part in this global effort, the Post today has a more relevant role than ever by providing infrastructure for development.
In Azad Jammu Kashmir, special ceremonies were held under the auspices of Pakistan Post at various major stations in AJK including Mirpur whole the day to highlight importance of the postal services department to maintain liaison among the people from one place to another across the world.
Speakers highlighted various newly-introduced postal services of the Pakistan Post including the fast fax, saving bank deposits, internet western union money transfer, money order and electronic money order and other services being provided to the people across the country including Azad Jammu Kashmir. The observance of the post day was also aimed at to create and maintain a structure for the free flow of international mail around the world.
In Mirpur, besides the postal staff from across the district, notables from cross sections of the local civil society attended a ceremony held in General Post Office here Wedmesday Morning. Postal Service Officials including Chief Post Master Zubair Rasheed Taimuri and other postal staffers including Deputy Chief Post Master Raja Sagheer ahmed, Raja Muhmmad Hanif, Post Master Mirpur city and others apprised the audience of the postal service in the back drop of its long history.
The CPM released on this occasion the special message of Director General of Universal Postal Union on the World Post Day depicting the importance of the postal services at present and the times to come.
The Postal Service officials responded to the series of queries about the advent and importance of the postal services in the world, reached from the students and other participants of the ceremony about the services being provided by Pakistan Post to the masses and abroad.
The guests visited various sections of the GPO where they were apprised of the performance of the postal services harmonious to the need of the modern age.
Speaking on this occasion CPM Zubair Rasheed Taimuri said while highlighting the significance of the world postal day describing it the day of the renewal of pledge by the postal staff to maintain the high traditions and credibility of this ancient mean of communications but in line with the needs of the modern age.
From the earliest times in history, “postal services” existed in the form of messengers who travelled large distances on foot or horseback. In the 1600s and 1700s, many countries set up national postage systems and entered into bilateral agreements for the exchange of mail between countries.
By the late 1800s there was a large web of bilateral agreements that made the distribution of international mail complicated, nontransparent and inefficient.
In 1863, Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General in the United States of America, organized a conference of representatives from 15 European and American countries.
During this conference, the delegates laid down a number of general principles for mutual agreements on international postal services but did not create an international postal agreement.
On September 15, 1874, Heinrich von Stephan, a senior postal official in the North German Confederation (an area that now forms parts of Germany, Poland and Russia), opened a conference in Berne, Switzerland, with delegates from 22 countries.
On October 9, 1874, the delegates signed the Treaty of Berne and established the General Postal Union. The number of countries that were members of the General Postal Union grew rapidly and the union’s name was changed to the Universal Postal Union in 1878.
In 1948, the Universal Postal Union became a specialized agency of the United Nations.
It may be added that 16th Universal Postal Union Congress was held in Tokyo, Japan, from October 1 to November 16, 1969. During this conference the delegates voted to declare October 9 each year as World Post Day.