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FLAG HOISTING CEREMONY ON PAKISTAN DAY IN PARIS

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 Paris ( Imran Y. CHOUDHRY):- A flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Embassy of Pakistan Paris to commemorate the Pakistan Day. The event was attended by a large number of Pakistani diaspora, members of diplomatic corps, media representatives and officials of the Embassy.

Messages of the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister were read out.

The Ambassador of Pakistan Asim Iftikhar Ahmad welcomed the guests and thanked them for being part of the ceremony. In his remarks, the Ambassador said that on this day in 1940, the Muslims put forward their demand for a “separate state”, a separate homeland where they could live their lives in accordance with their aspirations. Elaborating further he said that 23 March was a landmark day in the history of Pakistan movement.  It is the day of honoring the valiant struggle of our forefathers for a separate homeland – a struggle that was provided with a direction and momentum that began with the historic Lahore Resolution of 1940,  later named as the Pakistan Resolution. It was a great demonstration of vision by the Muslims of the sub-continent as this Resolution brought them together with extraordinary courage and zeal to strive for a separate homeland and freedom that was archived in a short span of seven years.

While addressing the guests the Ambassador said that it was the under the visionary leadership of the Father of The Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and sacrifices made by his companions that multiple odds were overcome to make Pakistan possible and the dream of Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal became a reality.

The Ambassador added that while we celebrate Pakistan Day, we should not forget that the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) are enduring the worst form of repression and state-sponsored terrorism at the hands of Indian occupation forces, aggravated by the Hindutva agenda and the unilateral actions of August 2019. The key to durable peace in South Asia is the resolution of the dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSC). Pakistan, on its part, stands committed to extending all possible support until the realization of right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

The Ambassador also expressed strong support for Palestinian people who are facing injustice, oppression and illegal occupation for seven decades at the hands of the Israeli Defense Forces. Pakistan remains steadfast in its principled support for the establishment of an independent, viable, and contiguous state of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

The Ambassador highlighted the importance of Pakistan-France friendship and said that both countries share the objective development, peace and security. He added that relations between France and Pakistan have a positive momentum and the two sides have been getting closer not only through political consultations but also through economic activities. A great deal of focus has been placed to enhance cooperation in energy, IT, agriculture and livestock, tourism, and other sectors.

He appreciated the Pakistani community living in France for their achievements and contributions towards strengthening Pak-France ties particularly people to people relationships. He lauded the compatriots as Ambassador of Pakistan and an invaluable asset, committed to the ideals of the founding fathers to attain glory for Pakistan by embracing the values of hard work, integrity, and compassion.

Later, the guests enjoyed poetry and tableau performance by Pakistani children at the occasion.

A ceremony was also held on the occasion to bestow Pakistan Civil Award Tamgha-e-Imtiaz on Ambassador Asim Iftikhar Ahmad for outstanding public service. The award had been announced by the President of Pakistan on August 14, 2023.

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