Pakistan on way to progress despite challenges: Syed Ibne Abbas
The Pakistan Day was marked with flag hoisting ceremony at the Pakistan High Commission London today.
A large number of people including Mayors, Councillors, community leaders, members of Pakistani diaspora, officials from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), British friends of Pakistan, a delegation of Pakistan Peace Collective, students and representatives of media attended the ceremony.
H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, hoisted the national flag and the messages of the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out.
The High Commissioner, in his address to the community, shed light on the importance of Pakistan Day as the turning point in our national history. He paid glowing tributes to the Quaid-i-Azam and other founding fathers, who, through their unwavering resolve and visionary leadership brought the Muslims of the sub-continent at one platform and created a separate homeland for them.
Giving an overview of Pakistan, the High Commissioner said:
“Despite challenges, Pakistan is moving forward and narrative of Pakistan is changing fast. Due to the economic reforms agenda of the government, the economy is growing at the rate of 5.6%, which is likely to touch the figure of 6% next year. The foreign investors are showing keen interest in Pakistan. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is a game changer with $62 billion investment portfolio, that would not only benefit Pakistan but would bring about regional economic integration.
“Security of Pakistan has significantly improved, and I pay tribute to our government, civil and armed law enforcement agencies, and the resilient people of Pakistan to successfully face the challenge of terrorism.”
On Pakistan-UK relations, the High Commissioner underscored the importance of deep rooted bilateral ties, and informed that constant stream of high level visits from UK to Pakistan is another manifestation of our mutually beneficial relations.
However, the High Commissioner said that despite our excellent bilateral relations the UK sponsored the recent move to put Pakistan on the Grey List Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This is a matter of a grave concern for Pakistan, he added. The High Commissioner called upon the diaspora to connect with their local MPs and effectively put across Pakistan’s point of view on important issues.
On this occasion, the High Commissioner thanked the community for their unified stance over anti-Pakistan campaign on London Taxis and digital billboards last year.
The High Commissioner also shared the details of the last year’s celebrations for the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan organised by the Mission and thanked the community for their full participation in the celebrations. The High Commissioner also commended the role of the community in development and progress of Pakistan and the UK.
Another challenge for Pakistan, the High Commissioner said, is ceasefire violations by India across Line of Control (LoC) and working Boundary, due to which a large number of innocent lives have been lost. He said: “During 2017, India violated the ceasefire 1970 times while in less than three months of this year these violations have already been 400.” The High Commissioner stated the Indian provocations could jeopardise the peace of the entire region. Therefore, he suggested both countries to resolve the outstanding issues including the Kashmir dispute through dialogue. He reiterated Pakistan’s continuous political, diplomatic and moral support for the just cause of the Kashmiri people.
On this occasion, local singers Durdana Ansari OBE and Sarah Peters presented the popular national songs and thrilled the audience. Shakeel Khan’s new national song was also launched during the ceremony and was received with huge applause.
The guests were served with traditional Pakistani brunch.
Similar events were held at other four Consulates of Pakistan in Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow and Manchester.