Polish Ambassador Piotr Opalinski said that relations between Poland and Pakistan are deeply rooted and historic, adding that in 1948 Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan sanctioned an agreement with exiled members of the army of the Polish Air Force in the UK to build a new Pakistan Air Force.
He expressed these views while speaking to DNA. Poland will celebrate its national day on November 11.
The Polish ambassador said that experienced pilots and engineers, who tested their skills and courage during WWII, decided not only to work for the Pakistani army, but to make Pakistan their new homeland. One of the most prominent Polish officers was Air Commodore Wladyslaw Turowicz who, in addition to pilot training, was also one of the main creators of the Pakistani missile project.
For protecting Pakistan’s airspace for over 30 years, he went on to receive many respectable awards such as Sitara-e-Pakistan, Sitara-i-Khidmat and others. At the PAF museum, Air Commodore Wladyslaw Turowicz and thirty Polish pilots were commemorated, he added.
He further revealed that the most important memorial of Polish historical presence in Pakistan is the Gora Qabristan Memorial Obelisk in Karachi, commemorating the Poles who lived there and contributed to the development of Pakistan.
â€œRecently I also discovered Polish graves in Rawalpindi, one of them belongs to a pilot Wladyslaw Banach. As you can see, the Polish cooperation of the past is still visible, due to some recent discoveries and more press articles than before “.
When asked about the chances of expanding Pakistani products in Polish markets, the Ambassador said: “I am sure there is still plenty of room to increase Pakistani presence in Polish markets and vice versa” .
He said that in terms of economic cooperation, our aim is to promote contacts between business communities in order to increase the volume of trade.
Poland is a market with enormous potential, not yet sufficiently explored by Pakistani companies, which tend to focus mainly on EU countries. Poland offers an interesting alternative, having less competition and at the same time offering easy access to the rest of the European markets, he added.
On another question on the consolidation of interpersonal relations, the Ambassador of Poland said that it was important that the people of both countries have a better knowledge of the culture, customs and beliefs of the other. This improves bilateral relations by enabling an individual to better understand potential business or political partners in future agreements and businesses.
This better understanding can translate into closer ties and cooperation between two countries. In order to achieve this goal, we will continue to organize events in which we will present Polish culture to Pakistani audiences, as a â€œjugalbandiâ€ of Polish and Pakistani musicians.
We would also like to present some of the Polish literature translated into Urdu to local readers, he added.
He said it was the second time he had the privilege to work in Pakistan. â€œMy previous tenure as Deputy Head of Mission between 1999 and 2005 gave me the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating culture, history and current affairs of Pakistan.
He added: â€œNow, after about ten years, I have the honor, privilege and real pleasure to serve as Polish Ambassador to Islamabad, my second home and a unique capital with its magnificent view of the Margalla hills and lush vegetation. I am always enchanted by Pakistan, its abundant culture, music, poetry and diverse cuisine. “
The Ambassador said that while we are seeing remarkable development in the country’s economy and infrastructure, Pakistan’s real treasure is its warm, hard-working, friendly and welcoming people.
Our countries and peoples share common values, such as the appreciation of a family and respect for tradition. I am sure that our multi-faceted friendship and cooperation will grow in the years to come for the benefit of our countries and peoples, he concluded.