‘Pakistan most friendly country to China in World’

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BEIJING: Former Counsel General of China in Karachi has said that he was very fortunate to have learned Urdu and dedicated his youth to the cause of China-Pakistan friendship. An Qiguang, in his 80s has served in Pakistan several times and worked there for a total of 16 years.
“I resided in the Embassy and Consulate General in Islamabad and Karachi for 16 years in four separate assignments. Pakistan was destined to be an indispensable part of my diplomatic career. I love Urdu and I love Pakistan,” he said in a recent media talks.
He recalled that he started learning Urdu in 1959 after studying as an English major for two years. At the time, he never heard of Urdu and was not familiar with Pakistan either. “When learning Urdu, by way of political study and reading newspapers, I sensed Pakistan increasingly stood shoulder-to-shoulder with China, which aroused my attention and respect. While working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I served as an interpreter for high-level visits between China and Pakistan. In 1970, then Pakistani President Yahya Khan paid a state visit in China. At the state banquet, I was introduced to the President by Premier Zhou Enlai himself, which is an unforgettable experience,” An said.
In June 2006, I started an eight-year compilation work of the Urdu-Chinese Dictionary with some editors. The dictionary was finally unveiled in 2014, accomplishing the wishes of generations of Chinese Urdu experts, An said. “Chinese people visiting Pakistan find they are treated like VIPs there. Such a feeling is further strengthened by visits to other countries,” An said.
“When we went out shopping on holiday, the shop owners often invited us to go inside to enjoy a short break. We told them we didn’t want to buy anything. Yet, they were still so hospitable and served cold drink or milk tea while telling us we all looked like Zhou Enlai, and thus were their friends.” – Agencies