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Text of Amb. Opalinski Piotr’s speech made at Poland’s Independence Day

Honourable Chief Guest, Madam Zubaida Jalal Khan, Federal Minister for Defence Production, Lieutenant General Khawar Rehman HI(M) Surgeon General of Pakistan Army, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, my dear Friends, as-Salaam-u-Alejkum!

Aad? aap sab ko hakùmet-e Poland ki dzianyb se, aor meri, aor mere tamaam staf ki dzianyb se jahã par ta?riif lane par chu? amdiid.

Today we celebrate the National Independence Day of Poland, which commemorates the events of 1918 when Poland regained its independence after 123 years of partitions and foreign occupation.

Jointly we celebrate the Polish Armed Forces Day, which falls annually on 15th August, the anniversary of the 1920 Battle of Warsaw at which Polish Army and People defeated the Soviet army that was trying to invade Poland and the whole Europe.

This year we commemorate also the round 80th anniversary of the Second World War which started by the Nazi invasion of Poland on 1st September 1939.

All these anniversaries are important to us and the freedom that we regained after a lot of struggles and sacrifices, is very dear to us. In my family my generation is the first one which did not experience the sufferings and devastations of war. But both my grandfathers, who saw the independence of Poland in 1918, soon had to fight against Soviet war of 1920 and later the Nazi and Soviet invasion 1939 and long and cruel occupation. While one grandfather spent next 5 years as a prisoner of war, the other grandfather and my father fought in resistance movement and in Warsaw uprising 1944. After another 45 years of communist rules imposed on Poland, my country once again fought, this time through a peaceful civic Solidarity movement, to liberation of Central and Eastern Europe from autocratic regimes into democratic states and contributed to the reunification of Europe.

So it is also our tradition to support the freedom of other nations. As some of you know, from 1948 onwards, right at the nascent state of Pakistan independence, a big group of Polish airmen, and also some navy men, greatly contributed to the development of Pakistani Defence, Air Force and civil aviation. Aor hamare szahinon ka naam he dzianaab W?adys?aw Turowicz. In his many years of military service Turowicz rose to the rank of Air Commodore in Pakistan Air Force and was awarded with all highest military awards.

From my perspective of a person who used to live in Islamabad for 10 years altogether – first 6 as a deputy head of mission and now 4 years as ambassador of Poland to Pakistan, I am very happy to see that now both our countries are developing fast, both our economies have much more to offer to each other and the mutual cooperation and trade exchange grows to the level exceeding half billion Euro and also the direct investment is being increased, especially by the Polish Oil & Gas Company which operates in Pakistan since 20 years now.

The further enhancement of political and economic cooperation between Poland and Pakistan is a priority of my mission. We have established regular dialogue with high-level delegations from both countries taking part in most important events concerning also the defence industry and military cooperation, which is based on the agreement we signed last year. It gives me a real satisfaction to note the invigorating cultural, academic and people to people contacts. All this makes me see our future bright. So, with this feeling of optimism let me quote a sher which I dedicate to our future:

Manzyl se aagie baRh kar, manzyl talaaszkar,

Myl dziaj tud?h ko darjaa – to samander talaaszkar */

Aor dzio Allama Iqbal ne farmaja – Sitaar? se aagie dziahaan aor bhi hein.

Khawatino Hazrat, me dyli toor par Aap ka siukrija ada karna ciahta hun kie Aap sab ne is moqa par aakaar hamaari chuszijon ko dobaala kija.

Pakistaan aor Polend dosti zindabad!

?ukrija, az-had ?ukrija! Thank you.

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