NEW YORK – Pakistan’s Independence Day was celebrated with traditional fervour and enthusiasm at Pakistan House on Monday. The national flag was hoisted by the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, as the national anthem was played.
The ceremony began with a recitation from the Holy Quran.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi read out the Independence Day message by President Mamnoon Hussain and Raja Ali Ejaz, Consul General New York read out the message from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Talking to the media later, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi highlighted the importance of the day. She paid glowing tributes to Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the sacrifices made by the Muslims of the sub-continent for the creation of Pakistan. Since its independence, she said, Pakistan had made great strides towards progress and prosperity, yet challenges remain. The government was making every effort to realize the Quaid’s vision of a modern, democratic and prosperous Pakistan. Defeating terrorism remained a priority, she added.
Dr Lodhi also expressed the hope that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would also be able to soon enjoy their fundamental right to self-determination, as promised to them by numerous UN Security Council resolutions.
The ceremony concluded by a ‘dua’ for the prosperity and progress of Pakistan.
The event was attended by officers and staff of the Mission and the Consulate General along with their families, and members of the Pakistani diaspora.
Later in the evening, Pakistan will mark the 70th Anniversary of its Independence at the UN, with the Pakistani Sachal Jazz band performing at the prestigious UN General Assembly Hall.
The concert titled, Music Beyond Borders, will feature a fusion of classical eastern instruments with western jazz.
The concert is expected to be largely attended by diplomats, UN officials, representatives of the civil society and media, as well as the Pakistani diaspora. The event is already oversubscribed.