Pakistan has turned the corner on its economic and security challenges: Maleeha

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NEW YORK, March 21 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha
Lodhi, has told a large community gathering that Pakistan has met its challenges over the years by its resilience, faith and grit.
Speaking at an event organized by Pakistani-Americans in Bayside in
New York, she said as Pakistan approached its 70th anniversary of independence there was much to be proud of, according to a press release issued by the Pakistan Mission to the UN.
“We should remember and celebrate our accomplishments, even as we continue to face up to and negotiate our challenges,” she said.
Ambassador Lodhi said the challenges were there but just as a
resilient nation, Pakistan, had managed to surmount crises and natural disasters, like earthquakes and floods, with exemplary strength and
dignity, it would continue to overcome present day challenges.
Already, she added, the country had turned the corner on the
economic and security challenges facing the country and “this gives
us the confidence to continue our efforts to ensure that Pakistan emerges from all its problems as a stronger and even more confident nation.”
Saeed Hassan, a prominent businessman, organized the event to recognize the contributions of community organizations and bring them all on a single platform.
Ambassador Lodhi gave away recognition awards to twenty major Pakistani-American organizations working in the New York area.
Other speakers at the event included Professor Dr Adil Najam from Boston University, Rizwan Qureshi, Senior Executive VP, HAB-Bank, Raja Ali Ejaz, Consul General and Shahid Khan, a Boston based political activist.
Ambassador Lodhi, in her address, urged Pakistani Americans to step up their political engagement, which she termed, “critical” to represent themselves, articulate their demands and voice their grievances. “If you don’t represent yourself, others will define you and misrepresent you,” she added.
She gave the example of the British Pakistani community, which had involved itself and participated actively in Britain’s politics and managed to elect dozens of Pakistani-origin representatives to the House of Commons while many have been nominated by different parties to serve in the House of Lords. This she held out as an example worth emulating.
She also cited, from her experience as Ambassador to the US, where she served twice, about how an organized diaspora can help their country of birth or heritage.
“We managed to remove not one, but three layers of sanctions against Pakistan,” she said and added, “We could not have accomplished this without the support of the Pakistani American community.”
“When they believe in a cause, our community does rise to the occasion and come together, united and strong.” And this, she said, was an important lesson: strength and impact came from unity.
For the younger generation of the community, Ambassador Lodhi
advised them to join the media and the IT sector. “Communication is the key,” she said. “These are important areas to join.”
She also urged them to exude confidence and take pride in their roots.
Ambassador Lodhi also spoke about Pakistan’s role at the UN. She said
Pakistan enjoys enormous respect in the 193-member organization and it has earned this by the active role it has played in the world body.
Pakistan’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping, engagement in all
important issues and norm setting in the areas of development, human
rights and security, is widely acknowledged and appreciated. Today
Pakistan, she said, was among the world’s top three troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping. This, she said, showed Pakistan’s
commitment to international peace and security as well as reflected the fact that Pakistan has a professional and well trained army.