This made for a cosy affair — although it was a formal one — where any discussion involved all the guests — except of course during the sit down dinner where people speak to those nearest to them! The new Italian Defence Attache Lt. Col. Emilio Sen was also present.
The host decided to make his farewell speech before the delicious Italian meal was served. He thanked his guests for accepting his invitation and said that in the couple of months or so since he had been here he had learned a lot from his guest of honour about ‘how things worked’ in Pakistan. He went on to speak of the good work that had been carried out by the officer in promoting bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in the collaboration between the armed forces and how this would go a long way to strengthen the bonds of friendship which already exist. He also said a few words about the cooperation in business which is going in the right direction; announced the visit of high level officials in the near future and concluded by welcoming Lt Col Sen and hoping he would have a successful tenure and wishing Col Lorenzo a successful career and happy life in the future.
In his response the guest of honour — who has been very popular both with his colleagues and civilians from all walks of life — thanked the ambassador for his gesture of hosting a dinner in his honour and said he was sad to leave Pakistan but happy that he had made many good friends and been successful in accomplishing some major goals which he had set for himself. He thanked his close friends who were present for their friendship and hospitality, saying a few words about each of them and their connection with Italy; wished his successor a happy and successful tenure; said he hoped to visit Pakistan whenever the opportunity arose and concluded by raising a toast to the friendship between Pakistan and Italy.
Maria Sultan spoke on behalf of the Pakistanis, thanking the ambassador for his invitation and voiced words of praise for the guest of honour who had done much to strengthen ties between the two friendly countries. She also welcomed Lt. Col. Sen and concluded with the hope that Pakistan-Italy ties would continue for the mutual benefit of both countries.
Here it is pertinent to mention that the Italian Defence office initiated an ongoing health project in Khuspur a few years ago for the benefit of the local community, where free of cost medical facilities are provided with funds raised by them with help from some members of the business community involved in bilateral co-operation.