ISLAMABAD, Dec 20 (APP):High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, Perry John Calderwood has said the problems of South Asia were intense and complicated and his country supports any effort by the parties concerned to work out some durable solution to bring peace in the region.
In his keynote address at a reception hosted by the English speaking Union at its President Khalid Malik’s residence here Tuesday night, the High Commissioner said the issues of Kashmir and Afghanistan were very complicated.
His country had friendly relations with Pakistan and India, and it was earnest desire and policy of his country that both of them should workout something mutually to ensure peace in the region, he added.
Responding to a question, without referring to Kashmir, Israel and North Korea, he said Canada always voiced its concern over the human rights violations. Sometimes we do it on diplomatic fronts and sometimes through other channels, but Canada always pass on the message to the government concerned and this issue should be taken over by the international community.
He also elaborated the Canadian society based on diversity and inclusion. The country has democracy for the last 150 years, never had a civil war, never taken over by army, or dictatorship and in lighter vein said, their children complained that Canadian history was boring as no interesting event was held in its history.
He said the past of the Canada was not that rosy but compared to the current scenario, “We are diverse by choice as his country has two national languages and 20% population is born outside Canada.”
Talking about welcoming laws, he said immigrants who arrived Canada 100 years ago and those who got nationality few days ago have equal rights and aspire for any top office in the country, contrary to other countries.
Paying tribute to his Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the high commissioner Perry John Calderwood said he believed that a country which holds back half of its population (women folks), actually holds back national development. We have equal salaries for women, increased number of women in the government and political set up and even have two handicap ministers including one legally blind. Actually very successful minister indeed, he added.
He especially referred to two immigrant women who went to Canada as child and rose to the second highest office of the country.
Responding to a question, he said like all other regions , the indigenous population in Canada was also marginalized due to colonial mindset but the Canadian government was making efforts to revive and conserve the cultural heritage of those people and efforts were made to generate leadership from those communities. The issue is duly recognized and it would be resolved in a short span of time with the active support of the society.
He said Canadian society was supportive, cooperative, welcoming and one finds diversified shades of cultures, languages, color and creed. All co-exist happily, he added.
As a hallmark, he said there was no discrimination in Canada as everybody goes to the same public schools, have same hospitals for treatment except a nominal proportion that goes to private schools set up by religious bodies.
Replying to a question about the US President’s announcement to shift its embassy in Israel to Alquds, he said the prime minister of Canada same evening stated that Canada would not relocate its embassy to Alquds.
Earlier, the president of the Union, Khalid Malik welcoming the High Commissioner said that English Speaking Union was a non-political organization and mentioned various high commissioners and ambassadors who had spoken as keynote speaker at ESU’s reception.
Later, Zia Ur Rahman in his vote of thanks paid tributes to Canada and its Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.