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.
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 home town, 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.
Pakistan accords great importance to its relations with the Philippines. The bilateral relations between our two countries date back to 1949. Spanning over several decades our relations have flourished in diverse fields translating into a reservoir of goodwill both in the public and private sector. Since my arrival in this beautiful country, I have personally experienced this goodwill and am sure my Filipino brothers and sisters must have experienced the same cordiality during their visits to Pakistan.
I am particularly excited to apprise the readers of this message of recent developments in continuously upward-going trajectory of our bilateral relations:
In 2017, the Philippine Drug Regulatory Authority re-started its registration process of Pakistani Pharmaceutical companies.
In December 2017, President Duterte honoured Pakistani Naval Ship SAIF with an hour- long tour aboard during its port call to Manila.
In January 2018, 5th round of Pakistan- Philippines Bilateral Political Consultation Talks were held in Islamabad.
In February 2018, the inaugural session of Pakistan-Philippines Joint Economic Commission was held in Islamabad. The two sides agreed to conduct feasibility studies on the possibility of Preferential Trade Agreement between the two countries.
These interactions have afforded an opportunity to review our bilateral relations, especially at leadership level, and open avenues to enhance our mutual cooperation in diverse fields.
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 next year will witness 70th Anniversary of Pakistan- Philippines relations. I invite the readers of this message to come to me with innovative ideas on how to celebrate this momentous milestone in Pakistan-Philippines relations. In this regard, I would like to share with them my dream of twinning Makati/ Manila with the Karachi City of Pakistan to gel and glue the existing linkages between the two countries further.
In the end I would like to express my sincere thanks to the leadership, government and people of the Philippines for their support and cooperation in the promotion of friendly relations between our two countries.
Mabuhay! Long live Pakistan-Philippines friendship.