Hundreds of people, including women and children, turned up to celebrate Pakistan's 75th anniversary of Independence Day at the Pakistan Consulate, Dubai, on Sunday.
After the flag hoisting ceremony by Hassan Afzal Khan, consul-general at Pakistan Consulate, Dubai, Pakistani President Dr Arif Alvi's and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's messages were read out to the attendees.
While praising the role and contributions of the 1.7 million Pakistanis living and working in the UAE towards the development of the UAE and Pakistan, Hassan Khan urged community members to continue to remit money through legal channels in order to further strengthen the national economy.
"We are grateful to our forefathers that we live in a free and independent country. I thank the Pakistani community in the UAE, too, who have done well for the UAE's development and economy. I also highlight the importance of this community in the economic development of Pakistan by remitting over $6 billion last year. I urge the community that we should continue to contribute to the country by remitting through legal channels," said the consul-general.
Currently, the UAE is home to the second-highest number of Pakistanis working abroad after Saudi Arabia.
He said the number of Pakistanis who are coming to the UAE on a visit visa have been growing steadily and have almost reached the pre-pandemic level.
Khan assured the community of full support from the consulate and said that more community-friendly initiatives have been taken to enhance outreach for all Pakistanis in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
"The consulate provides services to around 1,200-1,400 people every day. We are working to further improve our consular services by expanding and making some of the workstations a single window operation. As far as infrastructure is concerned, we are ready with that. But we need the support of other government departments. Once we get the go-ahead from other departments, we will roll out these services," he added.
Following the consul-general's speech, a cake was cut to celebrate the country's 75th anniversary of Independence Day. In the end, children sang national patriotic songs to mark the celebrations.
Business community celebrates
Dr Hadi Shahid, managing partner at Alliott Hadi Shahid Chartered Accountants and founding member of Pakistan Business Council, extended warm congratulations to all fellow Pakistani brothers and sisters and repose his confidence in bright future of the country.
"We are blessed and honored that Allah gave us great country with beautiful geography, proud history, hard working people and ample opportunities to grow. We, the oversea Pakistanis, although concerned of domestic issues are prepared to work with the government to build stronger Pakistan. I request all fellow brothers and sisters to focus on helping the country by remitting and investing more resources in the country and putting pressure on all segment of society and institutions to enforce law and justice," he said.
"Pakistani community is also grateful to our host, the rulers and people of UAE, for their support to the country. Long live Pakistan and the UAE," Dr Hadi said.
Muhammad Tahir, CEO, Wow Electronic Transport Services, said this is the day to make the country Pakistan special all over the world, as this is their 75th Independence Day.
"Happy Independence Day to all the Pakistanis. On their celebration of 76th Independence Day from August 14, 1947, until date, Wow is sending oceans of love to all the Pakistani. Let us promote Independence Day together by promoting Pakistani Culture, which respects for Pakistani nation's bravery and pride. May the almighty shower all the blessing upon Pakistan on this Independence Day," Tahir said.
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