NEW YORK, Aug 14 (APP):Pakistan’s Independence Day was celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm at Pakistan House on Tuesday, with Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi highlighting the country’s democratic consolidation resulting from the recent elections.
“The successful conclusion of general elections once again showed the commitment of the Pakistani people to strengthening democracy,” she told a large gathering after hoisting Pakistan’s green crescent-and-star, as the national anthem was played.
“This has paved the way for the peaceful transfer of power from one elected government to another for the third time in Pakistan’s history,” Ambassador Lodhi added.
The simple ceremony at the Pakistan House began with a recitation from the Holy Quran.
With the strengthening of democracy, Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan’s Independence Day this year has added significance. “Today we celebrate Pakistan, we celebrate our democracy and we celebrate the resilience of the people of Pakistan.”
Ambassador Lodhi then read out the Independence Day message of President Mamnoon Hussain while Naeem Cheema, the Acting Consul General in New York, delivered the message from Prime Minister Justice (R) Nasir-ul-Mulk.
While talking to the media after the ceremony, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi further elaborated on the importance of the Day. She paid rich tribute to the country’s founding fathers and the leaders of the Freedom Movement for it was their unstinting faith in the idea of Pakistan that led to the creation of a new nation. She also said that August 14 offers an opportunity to renew our commitment and resolve to abide by the ideals of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the ideals of equality, justice and fair play.
“His (Quaid’s) emphasis on the rule of law, justice and democracy paved the way for the creation of Pakistan”, she stressed.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Lodhi voiced the hope that the people of the disputed state will one day also be able to achieve their fundamental right to self-determination, as enshrined in numerous UN Security Council resolutions. She declared that Pakistan will continue to extend all moral, diplomatic and political support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the attainment of this goal.
After the flag hoisting ceremony, Ambassador Lodhi was joined by officers of the Pakistan Mission and the Consulate General as wells as members of the community in cutting the cake to mark the 72nd Independence Day of Pakistan.
The ceremony concluded with a “dua” for the prosperity, progress and well-being of all Pakistanis.
The event was attended by officers and staff of the Mission and the Consulate General along with their families, Pakistanis serving at the United Nations and members of the Pakistani diaspora.