London: National Day of Pakistan was marked by a flag hoisting ceremony at the Pakistan High Commission London today. In view of the COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, the ceremony was live streamed on Mission’s Facebook page which was virtually joined by a large number of Pakistani diaspora and British friends of Pakistan.
High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan hoisted the national flag. Messages of the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan were also read out on the occasion.
Extending his heartiest felicitations to the Pakistani community, the High Commissioner shed light on the importance of the National Day of Pakistan. He said that 23 March 1940 marked not just the launch of our national struggle for independence and self-determination, but also the beginning of our journey as a nation to realize our national aspirations. He paid glowing tributes to the Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal and other founding fathers, who, through their unwavering resolve and visionary leadership, created Pakistan.
Giving an overview of the state of affairs of Pakistan, the High Commissioner said that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan was set to continue to march ahead with confidence and conviction as a responsible member of the world community, a global bridge-builder and peace-maker, and a geo-economic hub for the vast Asian hinterland. He said the economic and structural reforms of the Government were paying dividends and the economy was getting on track.
Appreciating Pakistan-UK friendship, the High Commissioner said the two countries were tied together in a profound relationship grounded in common history and values; strengthened by a burgeoning trade and economic partnership; and enriched by an enterprising community of 1.6 million who have roots in Pakistan and proudly call Great Britain their home. He paid special tribute to the British Pakistanis for their invaluable contribution towards the progress and development of the UK as well as Pakistan. The High Commissioner urged British investors and diaspora to benefit from the business and investment friendly regime of Pakistan.
Condemning the unabated atrocities being committed by the Indian occupation forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the High Commissioner lauded the resolve of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination. He reiterated Pakistan’s political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris.
Updating the Pakistani community on COVID-19 Pandemic, the High Commissioner appreciated Government of Pakistan’s successful strategy for coping with the Pandemic while helping the vulnerable segments of society through cash assistance and keeping the economy open.
Speaking about the Consular Services, the High Commissioner said the Mission and its Consulates were making all possible efforts to help the community during the difficult times of Covid-19. He extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families who lost their near and dear ones during the Pandemic. The High Commissioner paid tribute to the British Pakistani doctors, nurses and other key workers, some of whom had sacrificed their lives, for their heroic work during the ongoing health crisis. In order to overcome the challenge posed by COVID-19, Mr Moazzam Ahmad Khan urged the community to get vaccinated as soon as their turn comes up and avoid all unnecessary travel abroad.
On this occasion, Mian Faisal Rashid, former British Pakistani MP was awarded Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam. On behalf of the President of Pakistan, the High Commissioner conferred the award on Mr Rashid in recognition of his services to Pakistan.
A celebratory cake was cut by the High Commissioner and his spouse Ambassador Leena Salim Moazzam while local singers presented popular patriotic songs.
The Consulates of Pakistan in Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow and Manchester organized similar flag hoisting ceremonies.