Pakistan Embassy celebrated its National Day
Pakistan Embassy celebrated its National Day reception at the Hilton Hotel in The Hague on 23rd March 2017.
The Ambassador of Pakistan, Ms. Iffat Imran Gardezi delivered the following message on this occasion:
‘It was 77 years ago, that Muslim leaders from all over Indian Sub-Continent gathered in Lahore on 23 March 1940 in the annual session of All India Muslim League, and passed a resolution demanding the British Government at that time, to create a separate homeland for Muslims of sub-continent where they could live in accordance with their aspirations. In only seven years, the dream came through when Pakistan got its independence on 14 August 1947.
Ever since our independence, Pakistan has come a long way. Starting as a country which had little infrastructure and whose very survival was questioned by some, today’s Pakistan is one of the most vibrant economies of the world. Located in South Asia, Pakistan is a doorway to central Asia, and West Asia. It borders two most populous countries of the world. We have in the last couple of years with the help and support of our Chinese friends, started China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The project when completed, will link Pakistan with the biggest market of the world through world class and state of the art infrastructure. Pakistan’s aim is to become hub of regional trade and commerce by linking Central Asia, West Asia and South Asia and bring peace and prosperity to the region. This is one of the most important pillars of Pakistan’s Foreign policy.
Pakistan’s economic fundamentals continue to improve day by day. All the major International Credit Rating companies have acknowledged this fact and improved Pakistan’s credit ratings. Karachi stock exchange which was trading around 32,000 benchmark a year back, has now jumped to 49,000, a return of 57% on annual basis, which shows the increased confidence of foreign and local investors in Pakistan’s economy and its future. Pakistan’s Stock Exchange is one of the best performing stock exchanges of the world. Pakistan is also a country which has produced Nobel laureates like Dr. Abdus Salam and Malala Yousafzai.
Pakistan stands for global peace and prosperity. It is to implement this vision that Pakistan continues to be one of the leading contributors for the UN Peacekeeping operations. Despite our limited resources, we continue to give refuge to millions of Afghans for the last four decades. It is our vision for global peace and prosperity that Pakistani nation, the government and its armed forces have joined hands in defeating the terrorists which had entered our territory from our neighboring countries. Over 60 thousand Pakistani Armed Forces Officers and soldiers and civilians have sacrificed their lives to make the world a better and safe place to live. The government, people and Armed Forces of Pakistan are determined to take this war towards its logical end and will not succumb to any pressure.
Pakistan desires friendly relations with all its neighbors and wants to resolve all outstanding issues with our neighbours amicably. The resolution of Jammu and Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of Kashmiri people and in the light of United Nations resolutions is the key to regional security and peace.
Pakistanis are a progressive nation and one example of our commitment to progressive agenda is the inclusion of women in all spheres of public life. Miss. Fatima Jinnah sister of our founding father Mohammad Ali Jannah, played a very important role in our independence struggle. All of you have also heard the name of Benazir Bhutto from Pakistan, who was the first female Prime Minister in any Muslim country in 1988. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoi, yet another Pakistani lady has won two Oscars on her world acclaimed documentaries. Females in Pakistan are serving in our armed forces and as well as our Ambassadors in various countries. Recently, Government has appointed the first female Foreign Secretary of Pakistan. Pakistan’s First Ambassador to the Netherlands, Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan, was also a lady.
The government has established a separate Women’s Bank and Business Women’s Chamber to promote the female entrepreneurs and their businesses.
Pakistan is a land which is home to two of the oldest civilizations of the world. The Indus Valley and Gandhara Civilizations. It is a country which is the founding place of Budhist Religion. For many centuries, Hinduism was the dominant religion of this region. Now, most of the citizens of Pakistan are the followers of Islam. Pakistan is also the birth place of Sikh religion. Message of Islam in Pakistan spread over the years through the work of Sufi Saints. These Sufis were the torch bearer of message of love, peace, tolerance and compassion. The followings of these Sufi Saints have immense imprint on Pakistan’s culture and its people’s outlook.
We are the nation who believes and works for building bridges between various faiths and civilizations. We are a country that would stand between the clash of civilizations.
Pakistan and the Netherlands enjoy friendly relations and these relations are gaining further strength day by day. Major Dutch companies have their businesses in Pakistan. Friesland Campina, one of the leading Dairy companies of the world, has recently invested USD 450 million in Pakistan. Similarly, VimpelCom, another telecom giant, has also made significant strategic investments in Pakistan during the last one year. Vopak – Shell – Akzo-Nobel – Nutritia – Philips – and Unilever are already working in Pakistan since ages. Our bilateral trade has already crossed US 1 billion and continues to grow at a steady pace. Queen Maxima of The Netherlands, visited Pakistan last year as Special Envoy of UN Secretary General on Inclusive Finance.
People of Pakistan and The Netherlands share common human values and the desire to make this world a better place to live, besides sharing passion for the Field Hockey and Cricket. We will continue to work with our Dutch partners to further cement our ties in the days ahead.
Long Live Pakistan Netherlands relationship.’