LONDON: Pakistan High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan hoisted the National Flag and the messages of the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out on the occasion.
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 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.
Giving an overview of Pakistan, the High Commissioner said Pakistan had successfully restored peace and stability in the country and now the focus of the national leadership was economic development and welfare of the people. He said Pakistan had long been seen through geo-strategic lenses but now was the time to look at the country afresh from its geo-economic importance. He added that Pakistan was moving forward and was poised to become a regional economic hub.
On Pakistan-UK relations, the High Commissioner underscored the importance of historical and deep rooted bilateral ties, and said that growing bilateral trade and economic ties were another manifestation of our mutually beneficial relations.
The High Commissioner commended the Pakistani diaspora for their vital role in the progress and development of the UK as well as Pakistan and for bringing the two countries closer. He also urged the diaspora and British investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Pakistan, particularly in the tourism sector.
Speaking about Covid-19 Pandemic, the High Commissioner shared with the community that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan had successfully coped with the first three waves of the virus and expressed confidence that the Government would be able to overcome the ongoing fourth wave as well.
On Pakistan’s retention in the UK’s travel red list, the High Commissioner said he was fully aware of the hardships being faced by the community. He said he was in contact with all relevant authorities of the UK government and hoped that Pakistan would soon come out of the red list.
The High Commissioner paid glowing tribute to the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people living under the illegal occupation of India. He reiterated Pakistan’s moral, diplomatic and political support to them for their just cause of self-determination.
On behalf of the President of Pakistan, the High Commissioner conferred Sitara-e-Pakistan and Sitara-e-Quaid-i-Azam on Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Yasmin Qureshi MP respectively. He said the civil award for both the distinguished ladies was recognition for their services to Pakistan and its people.
The ceremony concluded with a national song presented by children and cake cutting by the High Commissioner and his spouse. Similar events were held at Consulates of Pakistan.
At this occasion, a newly installed Cash Free Machine at the UBL branch of the High Commission was also inaugurated by the High Commissioner and Lord Zameer Choudhry.