WASHINGTON : Ambassador Masood Khan today hosted annual BBQ Reception and Mango Festival at the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC.
The guests of honor included Senator Irfan Siddiqui from Pakistan and Chairman House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul from United States.
Attended by over two hundred participants, the illustrious cast included newly appointed Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Dilawar Syed, State Representative in Connecticut State House Maryam Khan, ambassadors, diplomats, Congressional staff, members of think tank community, media and diaspora community leaders.
Senator Hidayatullah and Member National Assembly of Pakistan Ms. Shakeela Khalid Luqman also attended the reception.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui while addressing the gathering in national language of Pakistan referred to a famous verse of renowned poet Mirza Ghalib regarding mangoes which reads as انگبیں کے، بہ حکم رب الناس بھر کے بھیجے ہیں سربمہر گلاس
(translated as Almighty has sent sealed glasses filled with honey in the form of mangoes)
He congratulated Ambassador Khan on ‘Mango diplomacy’ which he said was one of the effective tools to bringing the two countries closer to each other.
Chairman House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul in his remarks thanked the Ambassador for extending invitation to him and providing him with an opportunity to enjoy delectable taste of Pakistani food and delicious mangoes.
Referring to Texas’ close ties with Pakistan, Congressman McCual said that they wanted to continue the tradition.
Congressman McCaul said that the United States has important security arrangements with Pakistan but through trade and economic investments in Pakistan, the two countries would become closer partners and bring peace to our nations.
Ambassador Masood Khan in his remarks welcomed the guests to the Embassy of Pakistan and highlighted unique taste and varieties of Pakistani mangoes, being country’s specialty.
He said that summer season in Pakistan heralded arrival of different varieties of mangoes. He said that Pakistan was ranked as fourth largest producer of best mangoes in the world.
Masood Khan highlighted tremendous benefits of mangoes along with their sweet and sour taste. He said that the incredibly versatile fruit offered plethora of delicious consumption options. Whether you prefer to relish it in its natural form, add it to salads, indulge in desserts, savor various types of mango pickles, or blend it into luscious smoothies, shakes, and the ever-popular mango lassi – the possibilities are boundless, he said.
The Ambassador recounted Chaunsa, Sindhri, Anwar Ratol, Langra, Dussheri as most popular kinds of mangoes found in Pakistan.
He said that amongst all varieties of mangoes, Chaunsa mango stands out as a top favorite and is widely cherished for its sweetness, making it the most consumed choice among people. Other kinds included Neelum, Fajri, Saroli, Malda, and Totapuri that are produced and readily available. He said that the country’s weather was ideal for mango trees to grow.
The Ambassador said that as part of trade negotiations under Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), Pakistan had requested the United States to arrange pre-inspection facility at Karachi Port enabling the country to export mangoes to various parts of the United States in bigger quantities. He said that Mr. Dilawar Syed, Deputy Administrator U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), was involved in the process and expressed the hope that the process would be expedited by the concerned US authorities.
Congressman McCaul and other US dignitaries also visited various stalls that showcased different products made with Pakistani mangoes.
From the tantalizing scent of perfectly grilled meat to the juicy brilliance of ripe mangoes, the attendees greatly enjoyed taste of Pakistani specialties terming them a feast for the senses like no other.
The participants expressed the hope that the two countries would be able to overcome hurdles in way of export of Pakistani mangoes so that the unique taste, sweetness and aroma of Pakistani mangoes is available across the United States.