Pakistan and its mango diplomacy


Islamabad : The arrival of Pakistani mangoes in the US is an example of successful collaboration between Islamabad and Washington that used “diplomacy to achieve tangible results”, said a leading Pakistani daily.

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An editorial in the Dawn Tuesday said that the Pakistani mangoes have finally made their way to the US, “the result of an effort that was reportedly launched in 2006 and involved lengthy negotiations with American authorities and the development of the necessary pest-control expertise and facilities here at home”.

Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of mangoes in the world.

The daily said that a small number of Pakistani growers and packers are now able to meet America`s certification requirements for fruit imports, and the first shipment of chaunsas landed last week in Chicago.

“…in true Pakistani style, boxes of mangoes have been sent around – in this case to the White House, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, various members of Congress and other prominent Americans,” it added.

The editorial went on to say that “the development is also an example of successful collaboration between Pakistan and the US that can use diplomacy to achieve tangible results”.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said that plans to export mangoes had been included in the strategic dialogue with America for the last couple of years.

“There are still challenges: restrictions on import locations and sanitation requirements on arrival mean logistics costs are high, and only the chaunsa variety is currently being exported.”

“But the combined efforts of Pakistani and American officials have managed to achieve a positive result for Pakistan’s agricultural sector, and perhaps even for the US-Pakistan relationship,” it noted.