Pakistan National Day celebrated with fervor in Saudi Arabia

Ambassador Muhammad Naeem Khan unfurled the national flag at a largely attended ceremony held in the embassy premises

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Pakistani nationals in the Kingdom celebrated their National Day with gaiety and fervor.

The day started with flag-hoisting ceremonies held simultaneously at the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh and at the residence of the Pakistani Consul General Aftab Ahmad Khoker in Jeddah.

Ambassador Muhammad Naeem Khan unfurled the national flag at a largely attended ceremony held in the embassy premises. Members of the Pakistani community, including women and children, officials of the embassy and consulate attended the function.

Messages of the president and the prime minister were read out by the ambassador and the consul general.

Ambassador Khan said March 23, 1940 is a reminder of the historic resolution passed in Lahore to carve out a separate homeland for Muslims where they could lead their lives according to their beliefs and aspirations. "We look back at the decades since the creation of Pakistan with a deep sense of gratitude at the achievements our country has made. Today we are blessed with a democratic government, independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society," he said.

A large number of prominent Pakistanis living in Jeddah attended the flag-hoisting ceremony at Khoker's residence in Al-Rawdha District. Noted poet, Mohsin Razi Alvi, presented a poem titled "Yaum-e-Pakistan." Students from Pakistan International School Jeddah (Al-Azizia section) Talal Khan, Ali Reza, Nazir Ahmed, Faisal Hafiz and Sharif Ishaq presented national songs beautifully.

In his address, the consul general said: "Pakistan epitomizes aspirations of our founding fathers. Their vision was to establish a country where we all could lead their lives in accordance with the Islamic ideals of freedom, sovereignty, democracy, equality, justice, tolerance and non-discrimination."

Both Ambassador Khan and Consul General Khoker urged the Pakistani community to be united and disciplined and work hard for the development of both the Kingdom and Pakistan.

To mark the day, special supplements were also published by Saudi Gazette and other newspapers.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on March 24, 2014.

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