• By: Ibn-e-Taha
  • Khan_adnan040@yahoo.com

Italy was declared Republic on 2 Jun, 1946. Pakistan’s independence plan was announced on 3 Jun, 1947. Both countries share diversified things. Italy is birthplace and center of ancient Rome civilization, it has ancient Etruscans, various Italic peoples (Latins, Samnites, and Umbri), Celts, Magna Graecia colonists and others. Pakistan inherits old civilizations of Indus valley and Gandhara. Genes of Pakistanis are Aryans, Dravidians, Arabs, Mughals, Iranians, Central Asians, Greeks, Pashtuns, Baloch, Nuristanis and Afghans. Italian along-with twelve other native languages is common in Italy. In Pakistan Urdu is the national language with about 80 spoken languages. Both Pakistan Italy are inhabitant to millions of migrates from globe and neighboring countries.

Italian Renaissance flourished during the 15th and 16th centuries. Present Pakistan’s areas during this time were ruled by Mughals who brought a renaissance in the united India. Italy has 59 places declared as UNESCO heritage. Matera (7000 BC). Naples (second millennium around Ninth century), Cumae (Euboea) 740 BC and Pompeii re included in these heritages. Pakistan UNESCO heritage sites are Mohenjo-Daro, Ruins of Takht Bhai, Remains of Taxila (2nd millennium BCE-6th century BCE). Pakistan also has heritages like Meher-garrh civilization (7000 BCE – 2500/2000 BCE), Multan (Before 3000 BC), Peshawar (539 BCE) and Lahore (1st- 2nd centuries AD).

Italy is located in Southern Europe. Pakistan is located in Southern Asia. Italy touches five seas. Pakistan borders Arabian Sea. Italy forms a corridor between central Europe and North Africa with a coastline. Pakistan is connecting Europe- Asia and Africa with a Coastal line. Italy constitutes 20 regions (regioni)—five of which have special autonomous status. Pakistan has five regions i.e. four provinces and Federal Capital Territory. Two autonomous areas of Kashmir and Gigit-Baltistan are also administered by Pakistan. Mountains like Alps, Apennines match the Karakorum, Himalayas, Kala Chitta terrain and Hindu Kush of Pakistan. Central Italian woodlands, and southern Italian Garigue and Maquis shrubland, resemble Abbottabad, Nathiagali and Ziarat area (Baluchistan). Ostuni is referred to “White Town” for its’ white painted architecture. In Pakistan we have “White Palace” in Swat. Italy has a long highway “Appian Way” joining Rome to Campania and Southern Italy, whereas Grand Trunk Road runs from Peshawar till Delhi (Bharat). Over 35% of Italian territory is mountainous, whereas 61% of Pakistan area is mountainous (Pakistan Bureau of Statistics 2020). Cold weathers, snowfalls, rains and forests are common in both the states. Both countries experience strong thunderstorms from spring to autumn. Average summer temperatures in both the countries ranges from 20 °C to over 25 °C. Shorkot, Mianwali and Sargodha resemble Po Valley in humidity with cool winters and hot summers. Italy has faunal biodiversity with over 57,000 species recorded. Pakistan has 5863 species recorded. Pakistan has about 6000 vascular species, compared to traditionally estimated Italian vascular species about 5,500.

Nationals of both Italy and Pakistan are Noble laureates. Both have parliamentary government based on a mixed proportional and majoritarian voting system. In both the countries, Parliament has two houses (upper and lower). Like Pakistan, Italy has Supreme Court of Cassation as the highest court. Sergio Mattarella is Italy’s head of state. Pakistan has Asif Ali Zardari as president. Empowering of women is common in both the nations, Pakistan had a female Prime Minister in 1989 (Benazir Bhutto), presently Italian PM is also a female HE Giorgio Meloni. Pakistan’s first female representative to UN was Begum Ra’ana Liaqat Ali (1952) who also served as ambassador to Italy (1964). Present Italian ambassador in Pakistan is also a female Marilina ARMELLIN with an outstanding diplomatic career.

Italy operated nuclear reactors between 1963-90. Pakistan nuclear capacity comprises six nuclear power plants. Pakistan has several law enforcing agencies like civil Police, Traffic Police, Railways Police, Anti-Narcotics force, Rangers, Coast Guards, Frontier constabulary, FIA, Maritime Security Agency, Levies, Scouts, Dolphin and Eagle squads. Italy also has multiple police forces as Polizia di Stato (State Police), the Carabinieri, the Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police), and the Polizia Penitenziaria (Prison Police) and Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard Police). Italian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Carabinieri collectively form the Italian Armed Forces, under command of the High Council of Defense, presided over by the President. Pakistan also has the similar structure, headed by President of Pakistan.

Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union (EU), NATO, G-7, Mediterranean Union, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, Central European Initiative and the Latin Union. Pakistan is the founding member of OIC, ECO, RCD and SAARC. It is also a member of ASEAN, SCO, FATF and several subsidiaries of UNO. Italy and Pakistan support multilateral international politics, endorsing UN and its international security activities. Both have deployed troops abroad under UN missions. Pakistan supports the Palestinian cause and Italy is one of the largest financiers of the Palestinian Authority. At the international level Pakistan and Italy agree to block the expansion in number of permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to ensure equality of nations in the world body. Their combined group is known as Coffee Club since 1990.

Like Pakistan, in Italy, education consists kindergarten, primary school, lower secondary school, upper secondary school, and university. Tertiary education in both the countries is divided between public universities and private universities. Smoking in public places has been restricted in both the states. Pakistan and Italy’s culture is based on multitude regional customs and local traditions. Both have legacy of monuments, paintings, music and literature. Both are known for architectural achievements i.e. construction of arches, domes, and similar structures by ancient Rome/Muslim art. One of the common resources, is marble, especially the famous white Carrara marble from Tuscany. This marble doesn’t get heated even when the sun is right overhead. It is used at holy places of Muslims Khana-e-Ka’ba and Mosque Nabvi (Madina).
Italy was the first country to build motorways (autostrade) reserved for fast traffic and motor vehicles. Pakistan has also developed Motorways across the country. Air travel is also common in both the countries. Italy has 45 civil airports. Pakistan has 62 landing airports/landing strips. Italy has 14 major sea-ports, Pakistan has seven. Ancient Silk-road trade passing through present Pakistan was culminating in Italy for many centuries. Italy is eager to support CPEC and Italian companies involved in communications and construction have ample opportunities to take part in the CPEC. Tourist interests both in Italy and Pakistan are culture, cuisine, history, architecture, art, religious sites and routes, wedding tourism, naturalistic beauties, nightlife, water sports and underwater sites. In Italy tourism are present in locations in the Alps and the Apennines and seaside tourism along the Mediterranean. Pakistan has traditional northern areas (Switzerland of Pakistan), Lahore, Karachi, Khyber-pass, Rohtas fort, Fort Manroe and sea entertainments.

Artists such as Masaccio, Filippo Lippi, Tintoretto, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian took painting to a higher level through the use of perspective. Pakistan produced Sadequain, Ismaeel Guljee, Zain-ul-Abedeen, Abdur Raheem Nagori, Abdur Rehman Chughtai, Colin David, Zahoor-ul-Ikhlaq, Bashir Mirza, Mansur Rahi. Italy has legacies of writers like Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Virgil, Horace, Propertius, Ovid, and Livy. Pakistan has Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Intizar Hussain, Qurat-ul-Ain Haider, Allama Iqbal, Faraz, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Jaun Aeliya, Patras Bukhari, Hafeez Jallundhri, Munir Niazi, Mushtaq Yousafi, Ibn-e-Insha etc. Formal philosophy was introduced to Italy by Pythagoras. Pakistan has philosophers like Sha Lateef Bhitai, Shah Hussain, Rehman Baba, Baba Freed ud din Gunj Shakar, Baha Uddin Zakariya and Madhu Lal. From folk to classical, music is an intrinsic part of Italian culture. Instruments like piano and violin, were invented in Italy and many prevailing forms. Symphony, Concerto, and Sonata, have roots to 16th- and 17th-century. Pakistan enjoys vibrant music of Punjab, philosophical music of Sind, Serene tunes of Baluchi and Chitrali folk and romantic Pushto tunes.
Italy won football World Cups (1934, 1938, 1982, and 2006) and two UEFA Euro cups (1968 and 2020). Pakistan enjoys most world cup Hockey titles (1971, 1978,1982 and 1994). It has also won Olympics Hockey in 1960, 1968 and 1984. Jansher and Jahangir Khan together have won 16 consecutive times the British Open Squash (10 by Jehangir Khan and six by Jansher Khan) and 14 World Open titles squash (six by Jehangir and 8 by Jansher Khan). Pakistan has also won Worl Snooker title in 1994.

Italian festivals are “Saint Lucy’s Day” (13 December), Epiphany (5 January), Ferragosto (15 August), Italian national patronal day (4 Oct), Each city or town also celebrates a public holiday on the festival of the local patron saint, e.g. Rome on 29 June (Saints Peter and Paul). Venice Film Festival, awards (since 1932), is the oldest in the world. Pakistan celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul Azha, Meeld-un-nabi, Ashura, 23 March (Pakistan resolution day), 14 August (Independence Day), 6 Sep (Defense Day) and birthdays of Jinnah and Iqbal.

Italian cuisine is rich in pasta, fish, fruits, and vegetables and is simple. Cheese, cold cuts, and Pasta are central to Italian cuisine along with pizza and coffee. Gelato, tiramisu, and cassata are among the most famous examples of Italian desserts, cakes, and patisserie. Pakistan has variety of food from meat, rice, wheat and Bar-b-cue items. Biryani, Kababs, Haleem, Nihari are the most common food. Local pulses, grams, red beans, curd dishes and tortillas are available everywhere in Pakistan. Pakistani deserts are Khheer, Feerni, Qulfi, sweet-meat and traditional Sohan/Mukhhadi Halvas. Ocra (Lady-finger) vegetable and pink salt is not found in Italy. Visitors in Pakistan are eager to eat Ocra, cooked in different traditional styles and take Pink salt back home as a souvenir.

Italy provided Pakistan US$100 million under “Pakistan Italian Debt for Development Swap Agreement” for social development in health, education and sanitation. Italy has also supported Pakistan bid for “Free Trade Agreement (FTA)” between Pakistan and European Union (EU). South Asian Triple Helix (SATHA) innovation award was established by Italy for Pakistani innovators for extraordinary works (having substantial impact on human life) in the respective fields. Separate award programs were launched in the provincial capitals of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. In March 2020, Pakistan sent 500,000 chloroquine tablets to help Italian patients with the coronavirus.

Pakistani exports to Italy consist of textiles, clothing, textile- and leather-related products. Italy’s exports to Pakistan fall in category of machinery and equipment. Italy is a major trading partner of Pakistan. It is Pakistan’s 3rd largest export destination in EU. Italian companies can make investments in energy, agriculture, textile, marble and infrastructure projects

Pakistan can benefit from Italy in manufacturing industry, economics, renewable energy, capitalist mixed economy, creative and innovative businesses, agricultural sector, high-quality automobile, machinery, food, design, and fashion industries, interior, architectural, industrial, and urban designs. furniture designers, washing machines and refrigerators.

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