The 70th Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated at the Embassy of Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, with national zeal and enthusiasm. A large number of UAE-based Pakistanis attended the ceremony. The ceremony was kept simple and national songs were not performed in the wake of the recent Quetta blast, says a press release received here today from Abu Dhabi.

H.E. Dr. Faisal Aziz, Cd’A hoisted the national flag. Independence Day messages of President H.E. Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister H.E Muhammad Nawaz Sharif were read out.

In his address, Cd’A Dr. Faisal Aziz, while felicitating the Pakistanis on the auspicious occasion of Independence Day, recalled the great sacrifices rendered by our forefathers 70 years ago for a separate homeland. The Cd’A said the day was being celebrated with the conviction that it will be a harbinger of political, economic and social stability. He said that the independence should also be considered as a day of self-accountability and we will have to ponder over as how we can re-direct our energies to the development of Pakistan to be able to stand tall among the comity of nations.

While referring to the recent Quetta blast incident in which more than 60 people were killed and dozens, injured, he said that the government was announced three-day national mourning. He condemned the terrorist attack and urged the community to stand united against extremist elements.

In this regard, he lauded the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the role and sacrifices being rendered by our armed forces and law enforcement agencies.

Referring to the role of Pakistani community in UAE, Cd’A Dr. Faisal Aziz appreciated their contribution in the development of UAE. He particularly appreciated the UAE leadership’s special affiliation towards Pakistan and said that the leaders of the two countries were keen on further strengthening bilateral relations. Cd’A also lauded the role of the Pakistani community in strengthening the national economy and improving ties.

On the occasion, Cd’A also mentioned online appointment system recently introduced by the Government to facilitate Pakistanis availing consular services. In addition, he mentioned the Public Open Day held weekly where Embassy officers have a face-to-face meetings with Pakistanis and their problems are addressed to their satisfaction. Cd’A urged the community to pledge that we would continue to strive for making Pakistan a strong and prosperous country moving towards the goal of development, with faith and conviction, unity and accord, and discipline. He said that Embassy would always be assisting the Pakistani community in this regard and would provide very possible facility within the ambit of law and resources.

Appreciation Certificates were presented to Pakistanis; Ms. Fatima Bibi in recognition of her exceptional academic achievements and Mr. Mobin ul Haq Lal Haleem and Mr. Rahimullah, taxi-drivers, in recognition of their honesty and integrity.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a special dua for Quetta blast victims was held and a large cake was cut. A raffle draw was held in collaboration with Pakistani International Airlines (PIA) office in the UAE.