Pakistanis all over the world celebrated the country’s 73rd Independence Day with solemnity on Friday. A function to mark the occasion was held early morning on the premises of the new embassy of Pakistan here that saw a restricted attendance in compliance with the local guidelines.
Ambassador of Pakistan Syed Ahsan Raza hoisted crescent-and-star Pakistan flag and later cut the celebratory cake.
The ambassador, accompanied by children, also planted a sapling. This follows Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative of the largest tree plantation drive in Pakistan’s history last Sunday, with 3.5 million saplings being planted in a single day, a national record.
At the end of the event, members of the media were shown around the new building of the embassy and briefed about the state-of-the-art facilities being provided at the consular section. The spacious new consular hall can accommodate up to 300 persons at a time. It has dedicated counters under one roof with reduced waiting time for services sought.
The inauguration of the new embassy took place in February this year, but because of the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak, the shifting of consular services had to be halted.
Now, these services have been shifted to the new premises and will be available from Sunday, August 16.
The ambassador felicitated fellow Pakistanis on the occasion stating that the day refreshes the enthusiasm and rejuvenates the resolve of the nation to work for the progress and prosperity of the motherland. He said the day inspired all Pakistanis to serve the country with greater dedication in order to carry the national flag, which symbolises nation’s hopes and aspirations, even higher.
“While we were celebrating our Independence Day, our brothers and sisters in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir were facing human rights violations. The Pakistani nation stood resolutely with the Kashmiri people in their rightful struggle for self-determination and freedom,” he noted.
He praised the Pakistani community in Qatar, which he said was imbibed with the love of the country and filled with the zeal to participate in Pakistan’s progress and development. He expressed the confidence that the Pakistani community, which is a living bridge between Pakistan and Qatar, in their practices and dealings would present the true image of Pakistan in keeping with the true spirit of the ideals and teachings of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal in their true spirit.
The ambassador expressed gratitude to His Highness Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the leadership of the State of Qatar for hosting the Pakistani community in Qatar and providing them with excellent employment opportunities and living conditions.
He highlighted that strong bonds of fraternal relations between Pakistan and Qatar based on historical bonds of a shared faith, heritage and culture. The visits by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Pakistan in June 2019 and by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Qatar in January 2019 and February, 2020 have further strengthened these relations.
In his message to the nation on Pakistan’s Independence Day, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that despite Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s economic indicators were improving to herald a better time ahead and paving way for an industrial Pakistan.
He spoke of improved economic indicators like surging exports, revenue and stock market besides a historic agreement with power producers to bring down the generation cost.
“Despite coronavirus, our tax collection in July is above the set target. I foresee an even better situation,” the PM said.
He felt no country had maintained a balance (between lives and livelihood) as effectively as Pakistan and that consequent to the government’s decision of smart lockdown, the coronavirus cases were on decline and the economy in revival.
“The war (against coronavirus) is not yet over. The challenges still persists,” the premier said, advising people to keep adhering to precautions of social distancing to avert the resurgence of the virus.
Felicitating the nation on the Independence Day, President Dr Arif Alvi called upon the Pakistanis to stand firm and work for the progress and prosperity of country.
The president said the current Independence Day was being celebrated in extraordinarily difficult times as the entire world was affected by the coronavirus pandemic that had adversely impacted all sectors of life, including economy, health and education.
He felt the pandemic brought enormous challenges for Pakistan, but thanks to a resilient nation that followed the government’s effective strategy of smart lockdown, the country was seen as an international success story.
He paid tribute to doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, who saved the lives of people by putting their own lives at risk during the pandemic.