ndroulla Kaminara has completed her three-year term as European Union Ambassador to Pakistan.
Now she is nearing retirement. In November 2019, she presented her credentials to President ArifAlvi.
The EU is driven by a spirit of multilateralism. Formed in 1950, just five years after the United Nations (UN), the EU has earned a reputation as the most successful supranational forum in operation today.
According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, around 2.5 million Pakistanis live in 25 EU countries and the UK. Most of them are economic migrants. A large number of them also went there for studies.
During Kaminara’s tenure, Pakistanis became the third most frequent recipient of European scholarships. Since the Higher Education Commission (HEC) accelerated its efforts to facilitate access for foreign graduates, these students are ideally placed in Pakistani universities.
Kaminara led a large forum dedicated to tolerance and interfaith harmony in Pakistan. Many politicians, women, religious scholars and interfaith harmony activists are part of this forum. One of their great achievements was the signing of the Lahore Declaration which, among other things, emphasized the need for women’s empowerment.
Throughout her tenure, she has devoted considerable time to women’s empowerment and protection activities. She says there is a pressing need for substantive research into the issues facing women.
Kaminara has traveled to Balochistan several times to set up a judicial system for the protection of women. Supreme Court justices and other stakeholders have been involved and laws have been introduced to this end.
Throughout her tenure, she has devoted considerable time to women’s empowerment and protection activities. Kaminara has traveled to Balochistan several times to set up a judicial system for the protection of women. Supreme Court justices and other stakeholders have been involved and laws have been introduced to this end. Recently, she also visited Kalash women.
During her visits, she interacted with many Baloch girls. Recently, she also visited Kalash women. The EU is currently one of the main donors helping couples to choose contraceptive practices.
She loves art and literature, especially painting.
She is particularly interested in paintings depicting women’s issues and issues of interfaith harmony. She also visited EidGah Sharif, a shrine in Khyaban-i-Sir Syed, Islamabad. The guardians of this sanctuary have a considerable influence on the politics of the region. Apart from interfaith tolerance and harmony, shrines in Pakistan are also centers of political power. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan used to sit at Baba Farid shrine and pay homage to him. His predecessor Nawaz Sharif was a regular visitor to Data Darbar in Lahore. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto frequented the LalShahbazQalandar shrine in Sindh. Thus, Kaminara’s visit to EidGah Sharif has a political dimension. She also visited several churches and met with Christian and Hindu leaders on various occasions.
It was not an easy race. She was always quick to highlight Shirin Mazari’s accomplishments.
Recently, the Turkish ambassador’s name was mistakenly put in the Urdu translation of an appeal by more than 20 European ambassadors to Pakistan to condemn the Russian attack on Ukraine as a signatory. The error was later rectified, but Mazari tweeted it to imply it was a deliberate deception. Then former Prime Minister Imran Khan publicly linked the call to a plot against his government.
A few months earlier, Mazari had tagged Kaminara in a tweet accusing the EU of keeping silent about Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir. Kaminarasa said that was not the case but he became a trolling target. When EU ambassadors thanked Pakistan for rescuing them in Islamabad after the Taliban took over Kabul, then-Information Minister Fawad Khan joined Mazari in grilling them for restricting PIA’s operations in the EU.
At the time of Pakistan’s GSP+ status reassessment, a lot of hate was generated by conspiracy theories against the EU and Kaminara had to explain on Twitter that Pakistan should take care of its minorities, women, journalists and vulnerable segments of society to deserve the favor granted to the poorest countries by the EU.
His meetings with the army chief, General Qammar Javed Bajwa, have also been the subject of criticism.
The author researches the mediatization of gender in politics and teaches at the International Islamic Islamabad University. Twitter: @HassanShehzadZ, E-mail: [email protected]