Pakistanis mark I-Day

DUBAI/ABU DHABI - The Pakistani community in the UAE celebrated the country's 58th Independence Day anniversary with traditional fervour, vigour and enthusiasm on Sunday. In the capital, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE Air Marshal (retd) Syed Qaiser Hussain hoisted the national flag in the presence of senior members of the expatriate community in the Pakistan Embassy premises.

By Kt Team

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Published: Sun 14 Aug 2005, 11:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

Hussain, later addressing the gathering, expressed satisfaction over the bilateral relations between the two countries which got a tremendous push after the state visit of Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf.

"Not only have our bilateral and political relations cemented, things have moved much faster in the areas of trade and investment with the UAE taking over PTCL, while the private sector has already invested several hundred million dollars with still many projects in the pipeline," he said.

Hussain highlighted the role of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE, and the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for their wisdom and sagacity in giving new dimensions to the strengthening of bilateral relations. In a simple ceremony held at the Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai, the day started off with recitation from the Holy Quran followed by hoisting of the Pakistani flag outside the Chancery by the Acting Consul General Najeeb Durrani with the national anthem playing in the background.

A large number of eager Pakistani expats and schoolchildren turned up from Dubai and the Northern Emirates in large numbers to witness the flag-hoisting ceremony and kick-start the traditional ceremonies. Messages from the president and prime minister were read out on the occasion which was also attended by the consulate staff and diplomats. In his speech, the Acting Consul-General of Pakistan, Najeeb Durrani, lauded the efforts of the Pakistanis based in the UAE for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan. "The community residing in the UAE is peace-loving and the consulate is offering its best services," he said.

Pakistani children sang a number of national songs including Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan (Long Live Pakistan) which was much appreciated by the gathering. The reception was followed by a sumptuous feast which included traditional food items like halwa puri, kebabs, lassi, chicken tikka, sandwiches and samosas. In the capital, Deputy Head of the Mission, Akhtar Ali Suleheri, read out the message of President General Pervez Musharraf who asked his countrymen to make the country strong economically and politically and asked them to be vigilant of forces which wanted to harm national interests. He appealed to the nation to work together to combat the forces of obscurantism and negativism, take pride in being Pakistani and adhere to the principles of unity, faith and discipline.

"By the grace of Almighty Allah, and as a result of the government's policies and reforms over the past six years, Pakistan has achieved the much needed economic stability. The country is poised to take off," said the President, adding: "The nation has surmounted several challenges, but on no account should we remain content with our achievements. We have to work honestly, sincerely and and be devoted to succeed in our quest of making Pakistan a truly modern, dynamic Islamic welfare state as envisioned by our founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah."

In his message, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said: "On this day, I would urge the Pakistanis to pause and think whether we have individually and collectively done everything possible to achieve the objectives of independence. We should resolve to learn from our mistakes and work ceaselessly to make this homeland worthy of the ideals according to which it was created. We must not forget our Islamic heritage and ideology that formed the basis of Pakistan." Students from H.H. Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Arab Pakistani School presented national anthem and sang patriotic songs. Earlier, at a programme organised in Dubai by Abdul Sattar Pardesi of Shirkat Abdul Sattar Group of Companies, Ambassador Qaiser cut a cake around 11pm on the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday in the presence of a large number of community members to mark the Pakistan Independence Day. Iqbal Maladwala, former president of Pakistan Professionals' Wing of Pakistan Association Dubai, praised the services of Qaiser as ambassador.

The Young Pakistani Professionals organised a colourful evening titled "Let's Celebrate Our Identity, Pakistan," in Dubai on Friday. It included interactive sessions, skits and music, with loads of prizes and a grand draw.

In Sharjah, prominent Pakistani poet Amjad Islam Amjad emphasised the importance of justice in the development of nations and said that Pakistan's progress relied on the role of justice in society. He was addressing the community on Friday at a special evening organised by the newly opened Emirates Palace Restaurant. The Urdu Express Readers Forum also held a function, attended by Acting Consul General Najeeb Durrani, to mark the Independence Day. Other functions to be held later this week include a variety of programmes at the Pakistan Association, Dubai. The Pakistan Social Centre, Sharjah, also plans a variety programme and music show. The Al Musalla Medical Centre and Pakistan Association have also arranged a free medical camp to mark the independence.

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