Nation special report
LONDON: To observe the Pakistan Day, a flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Pakistan High Commission London on Saturday (23rd March). High Commissioner, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, hoisted the national flag on the tunes of National Anthem.
The messages of the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out on the occasion. A large number of people including Mayors, Councillors, community leaders, members of Pakistani diaspora, British friends of Pakistan and representatives of media attended the ceremony.
The High Commissioner Nafees Zakaria, in his address to the community, said despite internal and external challenges Pakistan is marching towards prosperity and stability and the day is not far when the country will reach its glorious destination.
“Pakistan wants unconditional and complete peace in the region which is imminent not only for Islamabad but also the other nations in the South Asia. This categorical message and positive yearning is for all”, he emphasised.
Nafees Zakaria shed light on the importance of Pakistan Day. He paid glowing tributes to the Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal and other founding fathers, who, through their unwavering resolve and visionary leadership brought the Muslims of the sub-continent at one platform and created a separate homeland for them.
On this occasion, the High Commissioner paid homage to the Martyrs of New Zealand terrorist attack; condemned the heinous act; expressed solidarity with the government and people of New Zealand; and sympathised with the bereaved families.
Giving an overview of the state of affairs of Pakistan, the High Commissioner said:
“Pakistan is faced with many internal and external challenges and psychological warfare waged by our enemies but we need to remain steadfast in the face of the challenges to achieve the objectives of country’s progress and prosperity for our people. We have successfully overcome the security challenges for which I commend our security forces and resilient people of Pakistan for their selfless sacrifices.
“The Government has embarked on very prudent economic policies and successfully dealt with the immediate balance of payments challenge with friendly countries’ support. Pakistan is on the move and destined to achieve its rightful place at the world stage as an economic power.
“Pakistan’s narrative about regional peace and economic development has wider acceptance on the international level.”
The High Commissioner reiterated Pakistan’s political, moral and diplomatic support for the Kashmiris. He said that the international community should see Pulwama incident from perspective of atrocities perpetrated by Indian occupation forces blatantly with impunity for a very long period. He invited attention to the outstanding dispute of Kashmir which needs to be resolved peacefully for the durable peace in the region.
Mr Zakaria underlined that the statesmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the wake of Pulwama incident and Indian aggression was widely appreciated by the international community. He lauded the bravery of the armed forces of Pakistan in responding to the Indian act of aggression.
Mr Zakaria commended the role of British Pakistanis in the progress and prosperity of the UK as well as Pakistan. The High Commissioner thanked them for their unwavering peaceful moral support to the Kashmir cause.
He shared with the community members that E-Visa service for business persons and tourists from the UK started from 22 March 2019 which would help promote tourism and investment in Pakistan.
On Pakistan-UK relations, the High Commissioner underscore the importance of deep rooted bilateral ties, and informed that constant stream of high level visits from the UK to Pakistan is another manifestation of our mutually beneficial relations.
At the event, local singers, Sarah Peters and Sohail Salamat sang the popular national songs and thrilled the audience. Mr Zakaria encouraged children’s participation in the national day occasions. The High Commissioner along with other community members cut the special cake prepared for the occasion. Similar events were held at other four Consulates of Pakistan in Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow and Manchester.