LONDON: The 74th Independence Day of Pakistan was marked by a Flag Hoisting Ceremony at the Pakistan High Commission London today. High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria hoisted the National Flag on the tunes of the National Anthem. The messages of the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out on the occasion.
In view of the ongoing pandemic and social distancing guidelines by the UK Government and the Government of Pakistan, the ceremony was held indoors and was broadcast live on Mission’s Facebook. Thousands participated virtually in the ceremony.
In his address to the community, the High Commissioner felicitated all Pakistanis on the Independence Day and prayed for the peace, prosperity and progress of the country. He said community’s participation in great numbers always made us proud and we felt strengthened.
On this occasion, the High Commissioner paid glowing tributes to the Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal and other heroes of Pakistan Movement, who, through their unwavering resolve and visionary leadership created an independent state for the Muslims of the sub-continent. He said today we pay tribute to all those who rendered countless sacrifices, not only with their lives, but they also lost their families and belongings for a homeland where they and their future generations could live with freedom, dignity and equality.
Giving an overview of the economy, the High Commissioner shared that due to economic reforms of the government, Pakistan has attained economic stability and is on the road to development and prosperity. He said the current government is determined in realizing the true potential of Pakistan in all fields
Mr Zakaria said the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on human lives and the economy of the world, however, due to pre-emptive response and effective policy, the Government of Pakistan has managed to keep the loss of lives and economy to a minimum.
Speaking about bilateral relations, the High Commissioner said the ties between Pakistan and the United Kingdom are rooted in shared history and have grown from strength to strength over decades.
Updating the community on the Kashmir situation, the High Commissioner paid rich tributes to the sacrifices of Kashmiris and commended their resolve for their right to self-determination in the face of worst oppression by Indian occupation forces. In contravention of the UN Charter, UN Security Council’s Resolutions, International laws and conventions, India has been committing heinous crimes against defenceless Kashmiris, he said.
Mr Zakaria deeply appreciated the strong reaction from the British Parliamentarians against grave human rights violations in J&K and their continued support to the oppressed Kashmiris. However, he called upon the UK government to play its due role to end human sufferings there.
The ceremony concluded with the playing of popular national songs, showing some beautiful short documentaries on Pakistan and cake cutting by the High Commissioner. Similar events were held at other four Consulates of Pakistan in Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow and Manchester.