NEW YORK, Dec 27 (APP):Speakers at a largely-attended function, held to celebrate the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, paid tributes to the father of the nation,
saying he was a man of resolute will, completely incorruptible, an outstanding statesman and a true peace advocate.
The function, organized by the All Pakistani American Coalition (APAC), an organization which seeks to involve Pakistani immigrants into mainstream politics, was held at a restaurant in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City.
Among those who addressed the gathering, in which representatives of some US-based Sikh organizations also took part, were: Ghulam Nabi Fai, a Kashmiri leader, Ashraf Adeel, professor of Philosophy at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Naeem Iqbal Cheema, Pakistan’s Deputy Consul General in New York, Father Ilyas Gill, a Christian activist, Col (rtd) Maqbool Malik and Sardar Amarjit Singh.
Fai, secretary-general of World Kashmir Awareness, highlighted the Quaid’s love for Kashmir, saying he made three visits to the state during his hectic struggle to establish a separate homeland for Muslims of India.
He also highlighted the plight of the Kashmiri people languishing under a military lockdown imposed on August 5, when India abrogated the disputed state’s special status, saying that New Delhi’s illegal action had been condemned worldwide, including by some leaders in India.
The move was intended to reduce Kashmir’s Muslim-majority residents to a minority.
Despite the stepped up Indian atrocities, he said Kashmiris remained undaunted and their determination to free themselves of India’s yoke was strong as ever.
Fai also denounced India’s controversial citizenship law which discriminated against Muslims, calling it another step to make Muslims second class Muslims.
Other speakers recounted the historical events that led to the creation of Pakistan and independent homeland for the Muslims.
They also focused mainly on the vision of the Quaid as determined by his incorruptible nature and his deep respect for equality for all. Also stressed was the fact that the Quaid was governed by the qualities of impartial justice and fair play.
Prof. Ashraf Adeel urged the people of Pakistan, especially the youth, to rededicate themselves to the Quaid’s motto– unity, faith and discipline. Only by imbibing these values, would Pakistan became a great country, he added.
Sardar Amarjit Singh paid high tributes to the Quaid’s leadership, and lamented that the Sikhs did not have visionaries among their leaders at the time of the 1947 partition.
“If we had a leader like the Quaid, our situation would have been different, and the Sikh nation would not be suffering as they are now.”
He paid tributes to Prime Minister Imran Khan for opening the Kartarpur corridor which realized the dream of the Sikh Nation.
Deputy Consul General Naeem Iqbal Cheema spoke on the life and mission of the Quaid and told the audience of the government intensive efforts to seek a resolution of the Kashmir dispute and the work being done in Pakistan to resolve the problems of the people to usher in economic development and prosperity.
Shaikh Tauqir ul Haq, APAC chairman, welcomed the presence of some 300 people, especially youngsters, noting that representatives of all political parties were present in a heart-warming tribute to the Quaid.
Mohammad Hussain, an APAC office-bearer, conducted the proceedings which lasted more than four hours.
Iftikhar Ali, New York correspondent for Associated Press of Pakistan, who was the chief guest, gave away prizes to some of the Pakistani community activists.