The Embassy of Pakistan in Manila mounted a special reception to mark the 78th anniversary of Pakistan Day in Makati City on March 23. A milestone celebration, the event differed from regular diplomatic gatherings of the embassy as it featured authentic Pakistani food stations to introduce Filipino guests to the unique flavors of this Asian nation; as well as a film festival of short documentaries projecting the economic and tourism potentials of Pakistan throughout the evening.
With messages from Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasion imparted as a highlight of the National Day celebration, the dinner reception was well attended by Philippine government officials, members of Diplomatic Corps led by Papal Nuncio to the Philippines and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, representatives of international and multinational Organizations, as well as Pakistani community leaders based in Manila.
The evening’s guest of honor, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs Millicent Cruz Parades, conveyed in her remarks felicitations of the Philippine government, wishing peace and prosperity for Pakistani people.
On the other hand, Dr. Aman Rashid, Ambassador of Pakistan to the Philippines, highlighted in his speech the background and importance of Pakistan Day, as well as his country’s achievements.
“Pakistanis all over the world celebrate March 23 with great zeal and fervor. The occasion carries great significance as it reminds of the day in 1940 when the Muslims of Indian Sub-continent resolved to achieve a separate homeland where they could live in accordance with their religious values, culture and traditions in a just and free society. The event gave renewed vigor to the political struggle of the Muslims of India, which culminated in attaining an independent State under the dynamic and inspiring leadership of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on August 14, 1947,” said the Ambassador.
“While commemorating today the 78th Anniversary of Pakistan Resolution Day, I feel proud to say that despite challenges, Pakistan has emerged as a strong and viable country showing progress in diverse fields, be it economy, science or sports. I congratulate all Pakistanis resident in the Philippines on this happy and momentous occasion. Living far away from their hometown, they are in many ways contributing towards the overall progress and prosperity of not only Pakistan but also of the Philippines. In fact, they act as a bridge between the two countries and are a contributing factor towards further strengthening our bilateral ties,” he continued.
The Ambassador also emphasized the longstanding friendly ties between Pakistan and the Philippines as well as recent developments in bilateral relations between the two countries, notably President Duterte’s visit of Pakistani naval ship in December 2017.
According to the Ambassador, 2019 would be a remarkable milestone in Pakistan-Philippines relations, as it would witness the 70th Anniversary of relations between the two countries. The Ambassador shared with the audience that in order to gel and glue the existing linkages between the two countries further, he is working towards twinning Makati/Manila with the Karachi City of Pakistan because of their social, cultural and economic commonalities.
“The Philippines forms an important component of our ‘Vision East Asia Policy,’ which aims at enhancing our relations with the whole region in diverse fields. I am sure the coming months will witness increased exchanges between the two countries at different levels. I am confident that during my stay in the Philippines, I would receive the desired cooperation and support from the public and private sector to facilitate my job further. I earnestly hope and pray that with this envisaged cooperation, my tenure here will bear fruit and bilateral relations between our two countries will flourish in the years ahead,” the Ambassador said.