Pakistan’s 71st Anniversary of Independence was Celebrated with Traditional Zeal and Fervor by the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC: Flag Hoisting & Exclusive Qawali Performance by Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Washington: In the morning of 14th August 2018, Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui hoisted the national flag in the Embassy courtyard with the National Anthem playing in the background. Special messages from President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nasir ul Mulk were read out. In his remarks, Ambassador Siddiqui congratulated fellow Pakistanis all over the world, particularly those residing in the United States of America, on Pakistan’s 71 years of freedom. He said freedom was a cherished goal for which the founding fathers had rendered great sacrifice. The people of Pakistan have always come together in times of great difficulty, he said. Ambassador Siddiqui paid special tribute to the bravery and courage of the nation, particularly of our security forces, who have laid down their lives in defense of the motherland. On U.S.-Pakistan relations he said Pakistan wanted to work with the United States to build better bilateral ties as the two countries had always benefited from working together.
Ambassador Siddiqui also recorded a video message on the occasion, addressing all Pakistanis, especially the Pakistani American community which was disseminated via social media.
In a special gesture, the Secretary of State of Maryland read out a message of greeting to Pakistan on behalf of Governor Larry Hogan and the people of Maryland. Greetings messages on Pakistan’s Independence Day were also received from senior elected officials across the United States including U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Governor Jeff Colyer of Kansas, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois, Senator Gary Peters, Congressman Ed Royce, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressman J. Luis Correa, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Congressman Peter J. Roskam, Congressman Anthony Brown, among others.
In the evening, a special musical performance was arranged at the Embassy to mark the 72nd Independence Day of Pakistan. World renowned musician Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan entertained the audience with “Qawali” music – a sufi tradition. The event was attended by around 500 people including Ambassador Alice Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South & Central Asia, senior officials from State Department, Department of Defence, USAID, Ambassadors, Deputy Chiefs of Mission and Defense Attaches from a number of diplomatic missions based in Washington D.C. as well as prominent members of the Pakistani American diaspora. Ambassador Siddiqui conferred a Medal of Excellence on Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of music.
Flag hoisting ceremonies commemorating Independence Day were also held at Consulates General of Pakistan in New York, Chicago and Houston. A special flag hoisting event was held at California’s State Capitol building in Sacramento, California which was attended by Consul General of Pakistan, Los Angeles.
15 August 2018