Guests gather in Saudi Arabia to celebrate Pakistan Defense Day at embassy

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Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mohammad Naeem Khan spoke at a guest dinner in his host country on Friday, and said there are two kinds of power a nation can project.

“A nation can derive power from its military strength or use ‘soft power.’ We must use our ‘soft power’ — our culture, heritage, art, music, dresses and cuisines to win over others,” said Khan.


He spoke at an event at the Pakistani embassy which showcased his country’s culture and heritage on Pakistan’s Defense Day.

“In 1965 Pakistan was not very strong militarily yet our brave soldiers put up a brave fight with our enemy who were about seven times stronger than us,” he said, adding that times have changed and Pakistan can now boast of a strong military.

“I can say with full confidence that Pakistan now is able to face any enemy and it is now invincible,” he added.

Pakistan is currently battling with internal enemies who should be confronted, said Khan.

“We are a peaceful nation from the land of the saints. We never had militancy amongst our rank and file. However, unfortunately, this menace of militancy has grown and festered. It is now time for Pakistanis to become united as they did in 1965 war and stand up against these militants and fight to root them out once for all.”

The ambassador also spoke about his meeting with the Saudi Minister of Hajj, saying that the Saudi government would come down very hard on those who choose to attend Hajj without any permit.

“I am warning all of you not to attempt such illegal practice as this time the Saudi government would deport all those who go out to perform Hajj without permit,” he said.

Anila Naeem Khan, wife of the Pakistan ambassador, was also present on the occasion.

Around 500 families from Riyadh and other neighboring towns attended the event, and were entertained by a number of performers including:

Dr. Shahnaz Muzammil, a noted poet on a visit from Pakistan, who read her quatrains and couplets in honor of Defense of Pakistan Day.

Colorful folk dances from all the four provinces of Pakistan — Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab — performed at the event.

Asad Khan, a singer from the musical band AK-47, a student and disciple of famous Ghazal singer the late Asad Amanat Ali Khan, impressed the audience.

Urdu and Punjabi poet Javed Akhter Javed also recited his poems on the occasion.

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