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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 16/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Large turnout at missions for flag-hoisting ceremonies Pakistani expatriates in the UAE celebrated their country’s 68th Independence Day with patriotic fervour and traditional fanfare even as they received greetings from the country’s leaders on Thursday.

Community members based in the UAE wished each other and those back home through social media and also gathered in big numbers to attend the early morning flag-hoisting ceremonies held at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai.

While a few people decked up their cars with the design of the Pakistan’s National Flag to show their happiness some others said they were also greeted by friends from across the border.

Asif Durrani Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE hoisted the national flag in Abu Dhabi while Independence Day messages of President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif were read out. Pakistani expatriates attend the Independence Day celebrations at their Consulate General in Dubai on Thursday. — KT photo by Shihab

The audience was entertained with a special performance of patriotic songs and anthems by a group of community members.

Durrani recalled the great sacrifices rendered by Pakistan’s forefathers for a separate homeland. “Pakistan was both our identity and destiny” he said. He also said that in its 68 years the Pakistani nation had witnessed many challenges and measured up to each one with resilience and resolve. In this context he also mentioned the success of the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in Pakistan’s northern areas as well as remarkable improvements in key economic indicators.

The ambassador said that the presence of the community members in large numbers at the embassy was a sign of strong friendly relations between Pakistan and the UAE. “The UAE is a time-tested friend that has stood shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in every moment of trial” he said.

In Dubai Consul-General Javed Khattak raised the national flag on the consulate premises. “I would like to convey my congratulations on this happy occasion to my compatriots living in the UAE” he said.

“Over the years Pakistan-UAE relations have blossomed into an important and substantial strategic relationship. The strength of our relations is exemplified by the frequent exchanges of high-level visits and common views on a range of international and regional issues.

“The geo-political situation in the region has all along been turbulent but in recent times the menace of terrorism has spilled over to the western border of Pakistan. Our beloved homeland is confronted with serious challenges from the militants extremists and fanatics. No other nation has paid such a heavy price as the people of Pakistan in fighting terrorism and safeguarding their right to live in accordance with the democratic values for which Pakistan was created” he added. Children hold their national flags during an Independence Day event at the Pakistan Social Centre in Sharjah. — KT photo by M. Sajjad

“On this occasion we renew our pledge to defend our country from all kinds of threats — be they external or internal — and also the ethos of this nation.

“Pakistanis are a resilient nation who have valiantly faced all challenges since their independence and will continue to rise to every occasion and render any sacrifice in the service of their motherland.”

Similar functions were also held by community organisations in Al Ain Al Gharbia (Western Region) and other remote areas. The morning celebrations concluded with cake-cutting ceremonies.

Tonight a Pakistan Day solidarity dinner organised by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) will also be held.

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