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Farewell to Mashallah Shakri: The Iranian Ambassador


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"We will cooperate with Pakistan in development of security and security of development." Mashallah Shakri

By Raja G Mujtaba

Mashallah Shakri spent five years in Pakistan where he developed lots of personal contacts and made numerous friends. Normally the diplomats keep a very selective group where they mix around but Mashallah was quite outgoing.  He is a very learned person with a fine taste and very articulate in selection of the words to express his views. Besides he is also well versed with the philosophy of Dr Iqbal whom he was often heard quoting to inspire and energize any gathering big or small. I happened to have an exclusive sitting with him in his office more than a year that I reduced into writing and posted on Opinion Maker, it became a great reading that generated lot of interest amongst the readers. It was not a conventional interview based on some format discussing questions that are normally provided to the host in advance for the preparation. It was a writing of a sitting with him that tuned a different frequency where he felt more comfortable to share his candid views in a very relaxed mood.

Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) headed by Senator Prof Khurshid Ahmed is one unique Think Tank in private sector that is playing a great role in enhancement of intellectual discourse. In the continuity of the same policy and spirit, Mashallah Shakri was invited here to bid him a farewell in a simple but in an impressive manner. It was a small gathering that comprised of the intellectuals and former diplomats in Islamabad. Ambassador Shakri was perfectly at home in the gathering that he knew personally and mixed with all.

Senator Professor Khurshid Ahmed welcomed the distinguished guest with a brief address that was a straightforward heart to heart 

feelings from a brother for a brother. He was very forthcoming in recounting the association of Mashallah Shakri with Pakistan, his contributions in promoting the bilateral ties between the two countries. He also recounted the adverse affects of terrorism on the bilateral relations between Iran and Pakistan.

Mashallah Shakri was very eloquent, polite and warm in his expressions. He said Iran would help in development of security and security of development and is also willing to invest in Pakistan but as a policy would never give any money as aid etc. He was categorical that Iran wants to see Pakistan stand on her own feet but these foreign loans and aid does not let Pakistan strive for a better, prosperous and independent Pakistan.

Mashallah Shakri informed the gathering that Iran is willing to supply Pakistan with electricity, oil and gas at very competitive prices that would be much more economical and reliable because of the geographical proximity.

Departure of Mashallah Shakri would be missed for a long time by the intellectual circles in particular but he was also a well known name in Pakistan. He has left a big challenge for his successor to pick up the threads from where he has left.

Khalid Rahman, the DG of IPS was quite active in entertaining the guests.

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  1. Ambassador Shakri was known to be a friend of Pakistan and enjoyed good reputation. He understood Urdu and recited Iqbal with passion and reverence. I think he has provided a good base for his successor to follow. However, he is likely to be posted in Tehran where he can serve the interests of the two countries even better. He is a great diplomat. We wish him well and welcome the new Ambassador

  2. This is the spirirt …..

    Iran would help in development of security and security of development and is also willing to invest in Pakistan but as a policy would never give any money as aid etc….

    Mashallah Shakri

  3. NIce to see this news followup after the previous
    article which I remember as one of the best of Opinion-Maker's

    No doubt the Ambassador is eager to return home after all these years abroad. Hopefully he will ause all he's learned during his tenure and
    furnish wise advice — whether in his department or not –
    to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Iranian policy toward Pakistan.
    It is sensible what Ambassador Shakri said about Iran's refusal to give demeaning handouts to Pakistan ; that the latter has grown beyond that stage.
    Probably Iran could help some of the current leaders of Pakistan
    most in offering them courses on how to firmly stand up to America
    without selling their souls !!!
    And how to "Just Say NO " to those pushy Washington personnel and bureacrats,
    refusing to compromise on any important topic,
    but maintaining a calm tone and superb etiquette
    at all times.
    Wishing Amb. Shakri the best spiritual and temporal success in the future !

  4. Islamabad is under constant Washington to get out of IPI gas pipeline project as India did earlier under Washington's blackmailing.
    Washington wants Pakistan to pursue the delayed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project which by-passes Iranian territory.
    In September, US Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs, Ambassador Carlos Pascual (receiver of Torch of Liberty Award from National Conference on Soviet Jewry in 2003), “advised” Islamabad to abandon its plans to import gas from Iran…..

  5. WolfGangpmay says:

    During my service in the US Army, first as Intelligence Operations Officer for the 4thUS Armored Division in Goeppingen, Germany, and after graduating from the Jungle Operations Course in Panama, assignment to an Armored Division in Camp Enari, in the Central Highland of Vietnam, I became an advisory team leader at Ngo Trang, just north of Kontum. Unfortunately, Major Dixon, my boss, and I did not get along very well: He was into attempting to make as much money as possible from his assignment, by selling "Mike Force" rations to those team leaders like me, and his support of my team was merely marginal: During an attack from enemy NVA soldiers, while I borrowed an armored personnel carrier from the nearby American unit, he offered his help. He even screwed that mission up: During my approach to the attacked Montagnard village, he began to drop flares on my small team (Six Men). Of course, to save my mission, I called him in his chopper, and advised him: "Sir:If you drop one more flare, I shall have to shoot you down!" Though he finally got out of my way, he returned on the next morning with cakes and other goodies. Again, we were at odds: "I told him: These are NOT children, but men who helped to thwart a serious VC attack against that village. Instead of cake, the head villagers would like ammunition for their rifles, which they normally have to buy from the corrupt Vietnamese soldiers in Kontum. Major Dixon still didn't get it, his tiny mind was not made to think that well!

  6. Regarding the last 2 comments,
    Pakistan would be such a dupe if it went along with that
    TAPI line. To have India connected like this would be a nightmare.
    Blackmail could and would happen all the time.
    Very interesting about the envoy's "credentials" – good research,
    I had never heard of that organization. But it sounds like it needs
    examining with a microscope for suspicious activities and as
    a cover for espionage.
    I think the retired US Army officer above is trying to point out how
    American military officialdom, even way back THEN ! -
    were like mercenaries with no hearts. Just greedy, looking for
    personal advantage rather than helping any good cause.
    Is that right ?

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