Coinciding with the festive celebration back home, Pakistanis from all walks of life turned up at the embassy in Doha on Friday to mark the country’s 78th National Day with pomp.
The day marks the passing of the historic resolution — also referred to as the ‘Pakistan Resolution’ — on March 23, 1940 in Lahore’s Minto Park — that laid the basis for the creation of an independent state for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent.
Families turned out in large numbers, many in colourful attire, mostly preferring to match the green visage of the national flag. Some cars were also bedecked in the same.
The atmosphere had a touch of entertainment to it with foot-tapping national songs blaring through the music system in sync with the festive occasion.
Ambassador Shahzad Ahmad hoisting the Pakistan flag.
A group of students, who rendered national songs.
Ambassador Shahzad Ahmed hoisted the national flag as the audience sang the national anthem in tandem. Smartly turned out contingents representing all three armed forces of Pakistan presented a welcome salute.
Sadia Gohar Khanum, head of Chancery, then took the podium to read out messages from President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Paying homage to the Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Poet Philosopher Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal and other great leaders of the freedom movement who paved the way for the creation of Pakistan through their valiant struggle, determination and unparalleled sacrifices, the president was quoted as saying: “This day is also a vivid reminder that Pakistan was established through a democratic struggle and that democracy is key to the continued development and stability of the country. It is therefore imperative that democratic values are promoted so that tolerance, forbearance and harmony flourish in the society and we are able to address the current challenges.”
Prime Minister Abbasi also repeated the clarion call for sustaining the values that contributed to the creation of Pakistan. “We must dedicate ourselves to the security, solidarity, progress and prosperity of Pakistan by following the ideals of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal,” he said.
Ambassador Ahmad congratulated his compatriots on enjoying the fruits of being an independent and free nation. Recognising their efforts in the promotion of a positive image of the country, he urged them to imbibe exemplary conduct in the line of duty so that “we could pride ourselves on being Pakistanis”.
His speech was followed by the presentation of the two most popular patriotic numbers — Dil Dil Pakistan (My Heartbeat Pakistan) and Is Parcham Ke Saaye Tale (In The Shadow of This Flag) — by the students of Pakistan International School Qatar.
Ambassador Ahmad then cut the celebratory cake crafted in Pakistan colours alongside the officers and staff of the embassy.
The occasion also afforded members of the community to meet with them, and each other, in a spirit of communion.
The ceremony concluded, as always, with a sumptuous treat made up of the traditional Lahore breakfast in the lawns of the embassy.