Longford played host to a whistle stop tour of the county town last week from the President of the Pakistan-administered state of Azad Kashmir, Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry and the Pakistani Ambassador to Ireland Shuja Alam.
President Chaudhry and Ambassador Alam fulfilled a number of engagements during their visit on foot of an invitation from Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Peggy Nolan.
Both men held talks at Longford County Council’s Aras an Chontae headquarters where they were shown around the Council Chamber with Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon also in attendance.
Following this, the President and Ambassador visited St. Mel’s Cathedral, which included a tour led by Father James Mc Kiernan.
The President and Ambassador were given an overview of the history of the Cathedral including details of the restoration works carried out after it was destroyed by fire in 2009.
Afterwards, the President and Ambassador held discussions with Fianna Fáil Longford-Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty in the Council offices where they sought support for Jammu and Kashmir highlighting the occupation and treatment of Kashmiris.
One of the key themes that emerged from the discussions included the many Pakistani people that have contributed to county Longford. This included the proud and recent appointment of Aughancliffe’s Shairaz Hussain as Honorary Advisor to President Chaudhry.
Speaking following the visit, Cathaoirleach Cllr Peggy Nolan said she was incredibly happy to welcome the President and Ambassador to Longford.
“This visit allows for us to celebrate the contribution of Pakistani people in our county and for strengthening our ties with Pakistani people in our communities. I want to pay tribute to President Chaudhry and the Ambassador for sharing their time with us. I hope to welcome them again to Longford in the future,” she said.
In a statement, Longford County Council heaped praise on the Pakistani community who, it said, went “above and beyond” to ensure the President and Ambassador Alam were treated to a warm Longford welcome during their visit.
Ambassador of Pakistan Shuja Alam, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan; President of the Pakistan-administered state of Azad Kashmir Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry; Chief Executive of Longford County Council Paddy Mahon
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