Chicago IL: The Consulate General of Pakistan celebrated the “76th Pakistan Day”, with patriotic fervor and traditional zeal, to commemorate the adoption of Lahore Resolution of 23rd March 1940 demanding a separate homeland for the Muslims in South Asia, which finally culminated in the emergence of Pakistan on the world map, seven years later.
The event was graced by 32 Consuls General, in addition to around 300 eminent officials from City Government, offices of the Foreign Missions, and distinguished members of the Pakistani community from across the length and breadth of the US Midwest.
The event kick started with the recitation of Holy Qur’an by Dr. Inam ul Haq and live signing of national anthems of Pakistan and the US by Salman Samani. Messages of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan were readout to the audience. It was followed by a video depicting growing role of women in the socio-economic and education development of Pakistan.
Dennis Jung from the office of the Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois, Clair Gibertson from the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Talat Rashid from the office of the Mayor Roger C. Claar, Younus Suleman from the office of the Congressman Boby Rush, and Nettie Lasko from the office of the Attorney General Lisa Madigan read out the messages on behalf of their respective organizations.
Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Consul General of Pakistan, in his keynote address, said that the people of Pakistan hold 23rd March in high esteem as it reminds the nation of the momentous times when our forefathers rallied around the dynamic personality of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and, under his inspiring leadership, resolved to carve out an independent sovereign country for the Muslims in South Asia.
“Pakistan came into being following a long struggle by our forefathers. The nation is still firmly anchored to its democratic and cultural roots. Pakistan has had its share of turbulences but nothing could hold it back on account of the nation’s exemplary resilience”, stated Tirmizi.
“Through the countless sacrifices, we are succeeding in defeating terrorism in our country. The courage with which Pakistani people and our valiant armed forces are fighting this menace is un-paralleled”, Tirmizi said. He further stated that due to successes of our armed forces in their combat against terrorism, Pakistan’s economy witnessed steady growth. “Pakistan’s war on terror was greatly instrumental not only in ensuring its own peace and prosperity but also that of the entire South Asia, and beyond”, Tirmizi added.
“According to the latest World Bank Macroeconomic Outlook, Pakistan’s economy will grow by 4.5 % to 4.8% in the next two years. Pakistan is the 6th largest trader of services with the 7th largest pool of scientists. Pakistan, with 60% of its population in the category of working classes, has immense potential for exponential economic growth”, Tirmizi stated with a sense of pride.
Tirmizi pointed out the improvement of rating of Pakistan, both by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, and said that Karachi Stock Exchange has emerged as the second best performing stock exchange in the world with 25% return on US dollar consistently during the last six years. “Recently, several international monetary organizations have widely appreciated the current macroeconomic stability and the overall economic conditions of Pakistan”, he added.
Tirmizi explained that Pakistan had made remarkable strides in multiple fields, despite innumerable challenges. “Pakistan has finally emerged as a vibrant democracy, ably supported by an independent judiciary, a free media, and an enlightened civil society”, he added.
Tirmizi also spoke about the successful State visit of the Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, in September and his ensuing visit this month. He added that the Prime Minister is determined to realize the dream of our founding fathers of an Islamic Welfare State and towards this he has been proactively ensuring internal peace, stability, and prosperity and pursuing a Foreign Policy that is aimed at peaceful neighborhood.
While applauding the contribution of the one million-strong Pakistani-Americans to the strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and the US, Tirmizi urged them to act as a bridge to further cement these excellent ties. He said that the two countries have always stood by each other in times of crises and converted the huge reservoir of mutual goodwill into a robust partnership in diverse fields, especially trade and investment.
Tirmizi called upon the Pakistani-Americans to join high-ranking educational and research institutions, leading industrial houses, high-impact making media houses, prominent political parties, etc., in greater numbers, and become an integral part the American mainstream. He made a special reference to such prominent Pakistanis as Chaudhry Rasheed from the Democratic Party, Salman Amin, COO SC & Johnson, Ansir Junaid, CEO PWC International, Dr Khan Siddiqui, CTO and Founder Higi, Irum Shah, Senior Vice President Schneider Electric, Farhan Masood, CTO Soloinsight, etc., who became the inspiring role models by touching the commanding heights in their respective domains.
Tirmizi referred to the video clip played on the occasion and highlighted the achievements of Pakistani women in general and those of Malala Yusufzai in particular. “Pakistani women inspire us every day in every field from recent Pakistani women cricket team winning streak to Oscar winning Pakistani film maker Shermeen Obaid. Contrary to the image portrayed by the Western media, they are no longer suppressed, uneducated, and marginalized”, he added..
The well appreciated segment of the function was singing of sufi songs by Shazia Khan, a classical and folk music vocalist from Pakistan. She was supported by Raheel Sadiq Robinson on tabla and Mudassir Bokhari on keyboard. The guests, including the diplomatic corps and the US dignitaries, thoroughly enjoyed the performances.
The guests were served the traditional Pakistani dishes which were relished by one and all.
Iram Shah conducted the proceedings of the event with a professional touch.
Source: Asian Media USA
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