Dubai: Pakistani community in the UAE culminated weeklong celebrations to mark their country’s 75 Independence Day.
Different Pakistani community groups, supporters of political parties and social centres organised a variety of events including sports activities, cultural shows and cake-cutting ceremonies across the UAE. Pakistani missions and association buildings wore a festive look adorned in colourful lights and flags. Following COVID-19 safety guidelines, expatriates in UAE held small gatherings at restaurants, Pakistani Association Dubai, Pakistan Social Centre Sharjah and Pakistan Centre in Ras Al Khaimah to mark the landmark 75th Independence Day.
Officials ceremonies were held at the Pakistani diplomatic missions in the UAE to mark Independence Day. Festivities were held under strict COVID-19 safety protocol with limited number of people invited at the missions.
Pakistan colours dominated the consulate grounds, most people also came in green-and-white, but due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing norms, activities were only open to consulate officials and a few guests, including members of the media.
World's tallest building Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, was wrapped in the Pakistani flag on Saturday night while a ceremony was held near the Dubai Mall fountains to launch the activities of the Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
Patriotic songs laced with cheers of "Pakistan Zindabad" and performances by children kept the spirits high among those who were at the missions. Those who could not make it to events continued to celebrate Independence Day by sharing their patriotic fervour on social media.
Embassy flag hoisting
Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood hoisted the National Flag while the National Anthem was played at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The Ambassador extended greetings to fellow Pakistanis in the UAE on Independence Day. He recalled the struggle and contribution of the heroes of the Pakistan movement and said that on August 14, 1947, the world witnessed a miracle when Pakistan emerged as an independent state on the world map.
“This was a result of political, democratic and constitutional struggle of our forefathers under the able and selfless leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah”, he added.
Referring to the role of Pakistani community in UAE, the ambassador appreciated their contribution in the development of UAE and the role they are playing in supporting the national economy and improving ties between Pakistan and the UAE.
He emphasised the need for all to stand united, disciplined and committed to face every challenge that comes in the way to progress. He urged Pakistanis in UAE to demonstrate utmost responsibility and commitment towards te development of UAE while serving our own country.
He assured his full support and said that diplomatic team is ready to work closely with the community to promote the interest of the beloved nation. “On the Government’s part, we would continue to intensify cooperation with the UAE through closer Government-to-Government and people-to-people contacts”, said the Ambassador. A cake-cutting ceremony was also held at the embassy.
Ceremony at Pakistan Consulate
In Dubai, newly-appointed Consul-General Haswan Afzal Khan and his family led the celebrations with the hoisting of the Pakistan flag on Saturday morning, followed by prayers and short speeches. Messages from President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, and Prime Minister Imran Khan were also read out on the occasion. Consul-General Khan hoisted the flag at the consulate premises in Dubai. The messages of the president and prime minister of Pakistan were also read out on the occasion.
The consul-general commended the Pakistani community residing in UAE for playing a vital role in the progress and development of the UAE and Pakistan. He assured them of full support from the Consulate General of Pakistan and said that more community friendly initiatives would be taken to enhance outreach and facilitation for all Pakistanis in Dubai and Northern Emirates
The consul-general recalled the excellent fraternal relations between Pakistan and the UAE and hoped that Pakistan’s relations with the UAE will continue to grow under the visionary leadership of both the countries.
A cricket tournament was organised on August 12 at the Pakistan Association in Dubai (PAD) to mark Independence Day. Players also participated in simple but impressive cake-cutting ceremony followed by prayers for the country. Abu Bakar Imtia, sport director of PAD said that the tournament was held in line with COVID-18 safety guidelines.
Raja Amjad, president of Chinar Wing of Pakistan Association in Dubai, organised a cake-cutting ceremony at a restaurant in Dubai on August 13 with a limited number of community members from different walks of life. Participants held discussions on the struggle behind the Independence movement, leading up to the foundation of Pakistan. Prominent community members including Sajid Abbasi, Raja Jabbar and Sardar Javed Yaqoob, president of PPP, UAE, participated in the event.
Pakistanis in Dubai
Members of a social media group ‘Pakistanis in Dubai’ also gathered at a restaurant in Sharjah to celebrate their country’s Independence Day. National songs, magic show and games were arranged as part of the festivities. A large number of families also attended the event arranged by the group admins Nasir Bangash and Umar Farooq.
Supporters of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), organised an event at a restaurant in Dubai on Friday to mark their country’s Independence Day. They praised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to set the country’s development on the right direction. Irfan Afar Awan, former president of PTI Dubai and supporters also cut a cake with Pakistani flag colours to celebrate the day.
Overseas Pakistanis United Forum
A colourful ceremony was organised by the Overseas Pakistanis United Forum (OPUF) — a group of Pakistani expatriates from different social and political groups. The event was held in Ajman on August 12 with Pakistan Consul-General Hasan Afzal Khan attending as a chief guest. Mian Muneer Hans, chairman of OPUF, and members of various community organisations also cut the Independence Day cake with other guests.
Message from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office also released his message on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day of Pakistan:
Excerpts from the message
“As we hoist our national flag to mark Independence Day, we must reiterate the firm resolve to uphold our national values of unity, faith and discipline as envisioned by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. We have surmounted monumental challenges during the course of our history to emerge as a united, peaceful and resilient nation. Even today, the changing regional dynamics along with some domestic issues continue to test our resolve. Like each time, we will also overcome these obstacles with our characteristic determination and come out stronger as a nation.
“Pakistan today can stand tall among the comity of nations. Our policies towards reviving the economy, handling the pandemic, and protecting the environment have received universal acclaim.
“We want peace within and peace without, to pursue our socio-economic agenda. The Naya Pakistan has shifted its focus from geo-politics to geo-economics, with the well-being and welfare of our people as the topmost priority. Our government has undertaken every possible effort for the development and prosperity of Pakistan.
“This country is undoubtedly a gift of Allah Almighty for us. I once again felicitate all Pakistanis, both inland and overseas, on this auspicious occasion. I urge you to play your part in making Pakistan a proud, prosperous and peaceful state."
Message from Dr Arif Alvi, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:
"I wish to share in the happiness of my fellow countrymen on the auspicious occasion of the 75th Independence Day of Pakistan. This day reminds us to pay rich tribute to the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and leaders and workers of the Pakistan Movement who created a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent.
During this 74-year journey, Pakistan faced many challenges, but it successfully overcame them with hard work, sacrifices and the support of the entire nation. Pakistanis are a brilliant and brave nation that has made tremendous successes in various fields making the country distinguished from other nations.
The world must appreciate the fact that Pakistan singularly fought a long-drawn war against terrorism and eventually defeated the menace. Similarly, the development of nuclear deterrence by Pakistan is a great achievement that has made the country’s defence impregnable. Not to forget that Pakistan is a host to millions of Afghan refugees for many decades. Pakistan also won laurels worldwide for successfully handling the COVID-19 pandemic. For this great achievement, I pay homage to doctors and paramedics, religious leaders, media, National Command and Operation Centre, Security Forces and the entire nation whose cooperation made it possible to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
We have significantly improved all our macro-economic indicators, which are now positively influencing the lives of the masses. Despite these achievements, Pakistan is still facing many challenges on social and economic fronts, such as increasing population, lack of health and education facilities, stunted growth, malnutrition and various other diseases. It is encouraging to note that the government has taken certain steps for the empowerment of women and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) by providing them loans and skills to make them financially independent.
Let’s pledge to follow the ideals of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and work for the unity and prosperity of Pakistan. May Allah be with us all. Amen!"