By Sherry Rehman
As the big global strategic picture shifts on its axis, Pakistan has opportunity...
Note; This interview was previously published in Urdu.
Norway is an important country in the extreme north of Europe that is why sometimes it is called roof top of EU. The landscape is like a heaven on earth. The most innocent people who are even more beautiful and lovely. They are the most cooperative and peaceful nation on the planet. There are many things that make this country unique but for us Pakistanis, the biggest thing is the largest immigrant Pakistani community lives in this country. The number is more than 31,000. It is also worth mentioning that recently a Pakistani origin young girl Hadia sworn in Norwegian Cabinet as a minister. No doubt it is great honor and pride for all Pakistanis.
Ambassador of Norway to Islamabad H.E Cecilie Landsverk takes it as an opportunity to bring two nations closer . She most often visits cities from where the most of Pakistani immigrants moved to Norway. Matter of satisfaction is that these Pakistanis are building bridges and participating in Norway's growth just like their own country. Observing that cordial environment between the two nations we approched the ambassador for an interview and she very graceously spared time from her busy schedual. Details of the interview are as under;
The ambassador described Water as the major issue for Pakistan.
"If water is there, you can generate electricity, you can develop your agriculture. To meet the scarcity of water in Pakistan, world bank has presented a project to the Government of Pakistan in which Norway is also participating." H.E Cecilie Landsverk pointed out.
She said that "We are looking forward to the early approval of this project. The exact facts and figures are not available at the time but i can say that this project can solve water problems for a long time. She said that power houses with small turbines can be built at natural points. That is the easy solution of power crises in your country."
Sharing Norway's experience she said that our country is hilly place. There are a number of water falls there. We built small power houses in mountain areas where ever there was a natural point was available. Pakistan can overcome energy crisis using our experience.
The ambassador H.E Cecilie Landsverk said that trade and investment needs peace and stability. Norwegian trade and investment with Pakistan can be increase to satisfactory level. Our people see big potential here but the main hindrance is state of peace and security. Pakistan can have more investments if only peace is made sure. Three Norwegian companies are working here among them the Telenor is the biggest.
To a question about media reports of arrest of Norwegian agents in Pakistan, she dispelled the impression as if there is some kind of secret thing between the two countries. The ambassador said that it was all misunderstanding . The two countries are working closely on security and other matters. Unfortunately speculations created the hue and cry although there was nothing to
H.E Cecilie Landsverk is not among the diplomats who demand appointments in easy countries. This shows her aptitude towards taking challenges and prove herself equal to the task.
What were her feelings when she got appointment in Pakistan? "I took this responsibility not by order but by choice." She replied with full confidence. " Pakistan is the central in world politics because of Afghan crisis." The ambassador continued.
She said that there are 500 soldiers of Norway in Afghanistan who will return back this year. As long as Afghan crisis is concerned we think that the Afghan people should prepare themselves to take the realm of affairs in their hands. World community must help them out. Norway is ready to do and deliver whatever we can. We will fulfill our commitments and perform our duties towards this war torn nation.
On Kashmir issue, Norway is hopeful that the two countries Pakistan and India will solve this problem through dialogue. We are happy to see the recent development in relations between the two and further look forward to more confidence building.
H.E Cecilie Landsverk is enjoying her stay in Pakistan. Actually she is not new to us because Pakistanis make the biggest immigrant community in Norway. She has many friends not only in Islamabad but in Kharian and Gujrat as well from where a large number of Pakistanis moved to her country and living there since generations.
" Pakistan is very beautiful country having an extravaganza of civilizations and cultures. Tourists from across the world can be attracted if security situation is made better. " She said.