NEW YORK, Mar 22 (APP):Pakistan Day was celebrated in New York on Thursday, with Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi telling a large number of ambassadors and senior diplomats attending a glittering reception hosted by her that Pakistan was well on its way to greater progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The reception was held at the Pakistan Mission to the United Nation ahead of March 23 as the UN is closed on that day for the weekend.

“Today, Pakistan is full of hope and confidence,” the Pakistani envoy said, while welcoming heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the UN, senior UN officials, including three under-secretaries-general, members of the Pakistani community and UN corps of correspondents.

Also present was Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, who is expected to be the next president of the UN General Assembly, replacing Ecuador’s María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, in September.

Citing a recent international survey in which Pakistan was among the happiest nations in the world , the Pakistani envoy said this was a tribute to the resilience and strength of the Pakistani nation.

The new government, Ambassador Lodhi said, had generated unprecedented hope and expectation of progress and prosperity ahead.

She also said Pakistan will continue to play a leading international role in upholding multilateralism to which it has always been deeply committed.

Pakistan’s contribution to the UN in hard power will continue ,with its role in Peacekeeping, she said. So will it’s contribution to soft power in the many norm building exercises underway at the UN and it’s contribution in the realm of ideas.

The Pakistan Mission set up photo displays highlighting Pakistani men and women serving in UN peacekeeping.

With over 6,000 troops, Pakistan is among the world’s top troop contributing countries with peacekeepers deployed in UN Missions in hotspots around the world. Since 1960, over 200,000 Pakistani personnel have served with professionalism and distinction in 26 countries and 43 UN missions.

A number of Ambassadors gathered around Ambassador Lodhi to join in for cutting of the cake to mark the colourful Pakistan Day celebrations, with the soul-stirring patriotic song, “Dil, Dil Pakistan”, playing in the background.