Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™
Excellency Abdul Malik Abdullah, High Commissioner for Pakistan who completed
his 3 year tenure as High Commissioner for Pakistan in Australia
(A brief Article by Syed Zafar Hussain, Editor-in-Chief Sada-e-Watan Sydney)
Malik Abdullah, the outgoing High Commissioner for Pakistan, is a man of many
qualities and has a unique sense of serving humanity. He is truly a people’s man
who believes service to community comes before personal interests and concerns
of not only his professional colleagues but of himself. Having made a remarkably
journey to ascend to the highest grade in the civil service of Pakistan, he
remains a humble man. His amiable and pleasant personality made him one of the
most likeable High Commissioner of Pakistan to Australia.
His achievements as a High Commissioner in Australia can be highlighted on several fronts. However, his greatest achievement was to unite the Pakistani community living in Australia. He set a precedent of inviting all Pakistanis from different political, religious, linguistics and sectarian backgrounds to one platform. The first such meeting was held in Sydney in July 2011, soon after he assumed charge of his responsibilities in Australia. Since then such meetings have become a routine affair.
Foreign Minister of Australia
Honourable Julie Bishop and High Commissioner for Pakistan H.E. Abdul Malik
Similarly, he united all the community organisations of Pakistanis in different cities into an umbrella organization “Pakistan – Australia Council”. He also galvanized the community to write Urdu as language spoken at home with the local census instead of ethnic language so as to reflect the true numbers of Pakistanis in census. One of the benefits of such measure was allocation more air time for SBS Urdu Programme.
During his term of office in Australia, the delivery of Consular Services improved remarkably. New website for the High Commission and Consulate General of Sydney was launched. Machine Readable Passport (MRP) operations were started both in Sydney and Canberra. Similarly, Form Scanning and Tracking System (FSTS) was launched for speedy issuance of National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) for the community. In order to facilitate those Pakistanis who cannot come on working days, he decided to offer consular services one Saturday a month both in Sydney and Canberra.
He firmly believes in the philosophy of serving Pakistani community to the maximum. He made sure that Consular Services are delivered to Pakistani community efficiently, promptly and transparently. He made himself approachable to all members of Pakistani community in Australia without any discrimination and without any regard for the time. He made sure that all e-mails are responded within 24 hours, without any fail.
The most noteworthy achievement of High Commissioner H.E. Abdul Malik Abdullah is to finally start the construction of the High Commission building on a plot leased to Pakistan High Commission by Australian government in 1959. Construction of the High Commission’s building, 55 years after its lease, is a major accomplishment as the past attempts could not materialize because of lack of funds. His determined and persuasive efforts finally convinced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, to allocate the requisite funds. The building is now in the final stages of construction and its completion of construction date is September 01, 2014, just four months away.
H.E. Abdul Malik Abdullah is a well reputed diplomat who is highly regarded for his professional diplomatic skills by Australian government. He cultivated useful contacts in the host government. His efforts to further the case of Pakistan in a passionate manner were instrumental in enhancing the Australian Development Assistance to Pakistan from A$ 60 million in 2010-2011 to A$ 100 million 2013-2014.
During his term of office, Pakistan - Australia relations remained on an upward trajectory. There was considerable warming up in the bilateral ties. Since the takeover of new government in both the countries, there has been a desire to further strengthen the relations. Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbot has invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Australia. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has accepted the invitation and has expressed his desire to visit Australia early 2015. This will be the first ever bilateral visit of democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan to Australia.
The High Commissioner successfully conducted the participation of Pakistan delegation in CHOGM in October 2011. The delegation was led by former Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani. Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, was also the part of the delegation. He and his team were highly appreciated for their professional handling of Prime Ministerial delegation from Pakistan.
During his tenure apart from the Pakistan delegation in CHOGM, several high ranking officials and political leaders from Pakistan visited Australia. Dr. Farooq Sattar, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, Mr. Sajjad Hussain Turi, Chairman, National Assembly Standing Committee on State and Frontier Region, Senator Osman Saifullah Khan were among them. 20 delegations of Pakistan Defence Forces from Army, Navy and Air Force including Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) and Air Chief visited Australia. Just recently, in March 2014, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sandila visited Australia.
Understanding that prosperity and development of Pakistan depends on water security of the country, H.E. Abdul Malik Abdullah provided full-fledged support to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to help Pakistan develop Indus water management model. CSIRO will support capacity building and training of water experts from Pakistan. It will also provide technical advice on the Indus River System.
He also cultivated useful contacts with key officials of Australia Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR). ACIAR is helping Pakistan in shaping its agriculture policies for the benefit of small farmers in dairy, citrus and mango industries under Agricultural Sector Linkages Programme-II(ASLP-II),
On the trade front, the High Commissioner has the singular honour of finally securing the market access for Pakistani Mangoes in Australia. First promotional consignment and two commercial consignments of Pakistani Mangoes arrived Australia in September 2013. This Australian winter, Pakistanis will be able enjoy Pakistani Mangoes in Australia to their full.
During his tenure, Pakistan’s export registered steady increase. Australia’s FDI to Pakistan also increased during the past three years. However, it was the home remittance from Australia to Pakistan which remarkably doubled in the last three years.
In short, H.E. Abdul Malik Abdullah during his around three years of tenure in Australia has made significant achievements on several important fronts. He will be remembered in Australia as an accomplished diplomat who passionately promoted the cause of Pakistan and cultivated valuable contacts. He helped developed useful linkages between Pakistani and Australian businesses, organizations and people. He was people’s man, who served the Pakistani community in Australia with utmost dedication and commitment.
Editor-in-Chief Sada-e-Watan Syed Zafar Hussain and High Commissioner H.E. Abdul Malik Abdullah
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