PR No.186 Islamabad: March 21, 2017

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi told a large community gathering that Pakistan has met its challenges over the years by its resilience, faith and grit, says a press release received here today from New York.

Speaking at an event organized by Pakistani Americans in Bayside in New York, she told the audience that as Pakistan approaches its 70th anniversary of independence there is much to be proud of.

“We should remember and celebrate our accomplishments, even as we continue to face up to and negotiate our challenges”, she said.

Ambassador Lodhi said that the challenges were there but just as a resilient nation, Pakistan, has managed to surmount crises and natural disasters, like earthquakes and floods, with exemplary strength and dignity, it will continue to overcome present day challenges.

Already, she added, the country had turned the corner on the economic and security challenges facing the country and this gives us the confidence to continue our efforts to ensure that Pakistan emerges from all its problems as a stronger and even more confident nation.

Saeed Hassan organized the event to recognize the contributions of community organizations and bring them all on a single platform.

Ambassador Lodhi gave away recognition awards to twenty major Pakistani- American organizations working in the New York area.

Other speakers at the event included Professor Dr. Adil Najam from Boston University, Rizwan Qureshi, Senior Executive VP, HAB-Bank, Raja Ali Ejaz, Consul General and Mr. Shahid Khan, a Boston based political activist.

Ambassador Lodhi, in her address, urged  Pakistani Americans to step up their political engagement, which she termed, “critical” to represent themselves, articulate their demands and voice their grievances. “If you don’t represent yourself, others will define you and misrepresent you”, she added.

She gave the example of the British Pakistani community which has involved itself and participated actively in Britain’s politics and managed to elect dozens of Pakistani-origin representatives to the House of Commons while many have been nominated by different parties to serve in the House of Lords. This she held out as an example worth emulating.

She also cited, from her experience as Ambassador to US, where she served twice, about how an organized diaspora can help their country of birth or heritage.

“We managed to remove not one, but three layers of sanctions against Pakistan”, she said and added, “We could not have accomplished this without the support of the Pakistani American community.”

“When they believe in a cause, our community does rise to the occasion and come together, united and strong”. And this, she said, was an important lesson: strength and impact came from unity.

For the younger generation of the community, Ambassador Lodhi advised them to join the media and the IT sector. “Communication is the key”, she said, “These are important areas to join”. She also urged them to exude confidence and take pride in their roots.

Ambassador Lodhi also spoke about Pakistan’s role at the UN. She said Pakistan enjoys enormous respect in the 193-member organization and it has earned this by the active role it has played in the world body.

Pakistan’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping, engagement in all important issues and norm setting in the areas of development, human rights and security, is widely acknowledged and appreciated. Today Pakistan, she said, was among the world’s top three troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping. This she said showed Pakistan’s commitment to international peace and security as well as reflected the fact that Pakistan has a professional and well trained army.