Thousands turned up for Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations in USA

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (APP): Thousands of people from across the United States turned up at an annual festival held in Washington to celebrate Pakistan’s 70 years of independence, what is dubbed as America’s biggest South Asian event that is officially recognized by the Congress and State governments of Virginia and Maryland.
Top dignities who attended the event along with a huge number of
Pakistani Americans from several states included Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Chaudhry, Lt. Governor of Virginia and the current candidate for State Governor Ralph Northam, Attorney General of Virginia Mark Herring, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Chairman of Virginia’s biggest Fairfax County, Sharon Bulova and several state officials.
Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan and the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe had sent special proclamations to recognize August 27, 2017 as the Annual Pakistan Festival, extending their warm greetings to the Pakistani Americans. Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova also read out the proclamation.
Pakistan Festival USA, organized by veteran journalist Mr. Zahid Hameedi has been recognized in the United States House of Representatives (Congress) as one of the largest annual events celebrating Pakistan’s Independence. In addition to people from the DC metropolitan, Washington, Virginia and Maryland -, Pakistani Americans from states as far as Los Angles, California, New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey attended the function.
“I have travelled from New York to attend this function and I was
amazed to see such a huge gathering of Pakistani Americans at one place,” said Raheela Ahmed, who has come with her family. “I haven’t seen such a huge number of Pakistani Americans at one place in USA ever.”
Ambassador Chaudhry paid glowing tributes to Mr. Hameedi and the
organizing team for holding the leading South Asian festival in the US, which is being held for the past 30 years, every year.
He presented the model of Minar-e-Pakistan and Statute of Liberty to Mr. Hameedi to recognize his efforts and services for the cause of Pakistan and the Pakistani American community. “The festival symbolizes the love of Pakistani community for their country of heritage, Pakistan,” he said.
Ambassador Chaudhry said that today’s Pakistan stands tall in the
comity of nations as a strong, proud and sovereign country, nothing the remarkable transformation that was underway which made the country a dynamic state with an enormous potential for social and economic development.
In his remarks, Mr. Hameedi said the gathering was a testimony of love
and affection of Pakistani people living in the United States. He urged the community to work together for the greater strength and prosperity of the beloved motherland.
He praised the Pakistan government for its unflinching commitment to
rooting out fanaticism and extremism and said challenges faced by the country’s democratic institutions today can be overcome by Unity, Faith and Discipline, the motto that Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah left for the nation.
On the occasion, a shield was presented to Mrs. Christy, whose husband Squadron Leader Peter Christy embraced “Shahadat” during the 1971 war and was awarded Sitara-e-Jurrat, one of the highest military awards.
A shield was also awarded to recognize the contribution of Colonel Amjad Hussain Sayed, father of Senator Mushahid Hussain and Mr. Mowahid Hussain Shah, Attorney-at-Law in USA, to the Pakistan Movement. Commissioned in January 1942, Col. Sayed passed away this year in June. He was a gold medalist of the Pakistan Movement and remained dauntless “Soldier of the Quaid.”
Highlights of the daylong event were live performance by renowned
Pakistani Singer Tarranum Naz and the famous pop group Fuzon, which presented numerous patriotic songs. People shouted slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad” as they raised the national flags. A large number of young and old, including women and children attended the function.
A group of young Pakistani children presented the national anthem of
Pakistan and USA. A contingent of Fairfax County Sheriff Color Guard presented the guard of honor. Pakistani folk dances were presented by a group of American dancers. The entire program included cultural and singing performance by various artists, including emerging star of Coke Studio fame Basit Ali, Sharique Roomi and others.
At the end Ambassador Chaudhry, members of the US Congress and State officials cut the Pakistan Anniversary cake. The program ended at around 9:00 pm with national song Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan presented by all the artists together.