Year-ender: 7 important visits to Pakistan in 2017

December 28, 2017
Minerwa Tahir

NEWS DESK: The year is about to end but it definitely gave us some important memories. 2017 will be remembered as the year in which the London mayor as well as other influential figures visited our country.

Let’s take a look at 7 of the most significant guest visits that Pakistan hosted this year:

1. Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, arrived in Lahore via the Wagah border on an official visit on December 6. Along with him, he brought the message that many Indians wanted good relations with Pakistan. This was the first time a mayor of London visited Lahore. He was on a six-day mission to India and Pakistan to strengthen cultural and economic ties with the British capital.

2. The Aga Khan

Prince Karim Aga Khan arrived in the country on December 7 at the government’s invitation and stayed for 13 days. His visit was also part of a series of visits that coincides with the commemoration of 60 years since the Aga Khan became the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims on July 11, 1957. He left for France on December 19.

3. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin

His Holiness Dr Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin arrived in Karachi on September 15 to lead the Muharram majalis in the city. Karachi was selected this year by the Bohras to observe Ashra Mubarka and more than 30,000 community members from the entire world gathered in the City of Lights for 10 days.

4. Ronaldinho and Friends

On July 8, Brazillian football legend Ronaldinho, Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and five other international football stars arrived in Islamabad. The five international players accompanying Ronaldinho and Giggs were Dutch star George Boateng, former England goalkeeper David James, former French players Robert Pires and Nicolas Anelka, and Portugal's Luis Boa Morte. They played two exhibition matches in the country.

5. World XI squad

Fifteen players from seven countries visited Pakistan on September 11 as part of the World XI squad to play a three-match T20 series in Lahore. The star-studded team was led by South Africa's Faf du Plessis. The World XI featured du Plessis' countrymen Hashim Amla and David Miller, plus Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal, New Zealand's Grant Elliott, England's Paul Collingwood and Australia's George Bailey in a strong batting line-up. A potent bowling attack comprises South Africa's Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir, with Australian Ben Cutting and West Indies' Samuel Badree and Darren Sammy.

6. Jeremy McLellan

American stand-up comedian Jeremy McLellan visited Pakistan in August. He is a self-proclaimed “biryani extremist” – except that he couldn’t have it during his visit since he couldn’t come to Karachi. A comedian based in Charleston, South Carolina, Jeremy toured parts of Pakistan for 14 days, conducting stand-up comedy shows and providing free dental care to villagers around Islamabad through a fundraising initiative. He also kept his fans updated with his day-to-day experiences on social media.

7. Mandla Mandela

On November 30, Mandla Mandela, the grandson of the late anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, arrived in Lahore. Mandla, who is a member parliament of South Africa, was on a visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Dr Tahirul Qadri, the head of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), for the party’s ‘Tajdar-e-Khatam-e-Nabbuwat Conference’.