Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC hosts a Grand National Day Reception

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Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC hosts a Grand National Day Reception

Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC hosts a Grand National Day Reception

Ambassador Dr. Asad Majeed Khan hosted Pakistan Day Reception at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.C.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Mr. Dean Thompson graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The event was attended by a large number of U.S. dignitaries, members of Diplomatic Corps, academia, civil society, media, international organizations and Pakistani-American Community.

In his remarks, Ambassador Khan highlighted the importance of the National Day and reaffirmed the commitment of the nation to making Pakistan a beacon of peace, progress and prosperity. He said that the Government of Pakistan was focused on economic growth by shifting from geostrategic to a geo-economic paradigm. The Ambassador also highlighted Pakistan’s foreign policy priorities that sought to deliver peace, prosperity, better life and living standards to its people.  Speaking about Pakistan-U.S. relations, the Ambassador underscored the desire on both sides to further strengthen the bilateral partnership. He highlighted the far-reaching and broad based bilateral agenda that ranged from promoting trade and investment, defense and energy cooperation to deepening of people to people linkages and greater education and cultural exchanges. There was also immense potential for cooperation on global issues, such as public health, combating climate change, and fighting corruption.

Referring to the regional situation, the Ambassador pledged that Pakistan will continue to work with the United States and the international community to avert humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan. He also impressed upon the need for India to take meaningful steps for resolution of all longstanding issues, including Jammu & Kashmir dispute, for ensuring regional peace and socio-economic development of the people of the region.

The Ambassador paid glowing tribute to the immense contributions of the nearly 1 million strong Pakistani-American community in the United States. He lauded their success in all fields of life and their important role in cementing Pakistan-US relations by acting as a bridge between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Thompson felicitated the Pakistani nation on the National Day and said that the United States sought to build on the existing cooperation with Pakistan to advance shared priorities, including fostering economic growth and regional connectivity. He also highlighted existing cooperation between the two countries in a range of areas including COVID, climate change, education, women empowerment and regional peace and stability. “We believe that Pakistan’s role is and will continue to be vital in ensuring peace and stability in the region and beyond”, stated Mr. Thompson.

Chairperson and Co-Chair of Congressional Pakistan Caucus, Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Tom Suozzi respectively sent video messages congratulating the Pakistani nation on the occasion.

The National Day Reception was the last official engagement of Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan before his departure for Brussels. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dean Thompson and other dignitaries expressed high praise and deep appreciation for Ambassador Khan’s contributions in strengthening mutually beneficial ties between the two countries during his tenure.

Ambassador’s Remarks for Pakistan Day – 23 March 2022

Honorable Principal DAS Dean Thompson

Honorable colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps,

Distinguished Community Members,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank you for joining us on this auspicious day to celebrate the 82nd National Day of Pakistan.

This year is momentous because we also celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between US and Pakistan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

23rd March 1940 is one of the most significant milestones in the history of Pakistan. It was, 82 years ago this day, that the Muslims of the sub-continent resolved to seek a separate homeland, under the leadership of our founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, where they could lead their lives with honor and dignity.

Today, as we celebrate the 82nd Pakistan Day, we reaffirm our commitment and resolve to make Pakistan a beacon of peace, progress and prosperity as envisioned by our founding fathers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the new and transformed Pakistan, our Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan is focused around economic progress. By shifting from a geo-strategic to a geo-economic paradigm, we pursue a foreign policy that seeks to deliver peace, prosperity and better life and living standards to our people.

Consequently, instead of being a part of geo-political competition or rivalries, we strive for peaceful and prosperous coexistence with all in our region and beyond.

Our geographic location, demographics, democratic orientation, rich human and natural resources clearly positions Pakistan to be an economic and transit hub and melting pot of positive global interests.

The remarkable improvement in our internal security situation over the last several years allow us to optimally leverage these important strengths in the service of a peace oriented, development focused and people centric foreign policy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are clear eyed about the importance of a peaceful neighborhood in our quest for economic development and prosperity of not only Pakistan but also of the region and beyond.

In this regard, achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan is essential for realizing this goal. This is in Pakistan’s national interest as we have paid a huge price for the continuing conflict in Afghanistan. This mutual goal continues to remain an important convergence between Pakistan and the US.

We have and we will continue to work with the United States and the international community to ensure that the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan is averted and its economy is able to recover and get back on its feet. Learning from the past, it is incumbent upon the international community to ensure that Afghanistan is not forgotten and ignored as the international community tends to other compelling and urgent crisis.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan desires peace and normal relations with India as well. The only way forward is through peaceful negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India including the core dispute of Jammu & Kashmir.

While the Government of Pakistan remains prepared to resolve all outstanding disputes with India through dialogue, the onus is on the Government of India to demonstrate its seriousness in pursuing peace in the region and take steps for creating an enabling environment for a meaningful dialogue.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan has enjoyed an enduring partnership with the US over the decades based on mutuality of interests. We believe that our future lies in further strengthening this partnership and working together for the betterment of the peoples of both countries.

We envision a far-reaching bilateral agenda that ranges from promoting trade and investment, defence and energy cooperation, and deepening of people-to-people linkages through greater education and cultural exchanges. There is also potential for cooperation on global issues such as public health, combating climate change and fighting corruption.

We are delighted to see the bilateral engagement process pick up over the past year. With conversations taking place across multiple areas and sectors, we also witnessed several high-level engagements, both with the Administration and the Congress. This has further cemented the strategic foundations of our important partnership.

For building a standalone, broad-based, and enduring partnership with the US, we draw strength from a number of key enablers including strong people to people ties, mutually beneficial businesses and economic linkages, shared democratic values and principles and compatible legal frameworks as well as common interest in promoting peace and stability in the region.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our friends in the US for extending unparalleled support to Pakistan in dealing with the Pandemic. Pakistan is the highest recipient of vaccines from the US under COVAX and we look forward to continued cooperation in this important area.

Ladies and Gentleman,

Over the last several decades, we have seen the US corporate footprint grow in Pakistan. We have also seen two-way trade, particularly Pakistan’s exports registering a healthy increase over the past few years. The US also remains the fourth largest remittance source for Pakistan. We are excited to see the tech startup ecosystem thriving in Pakistan with our tech related investments and exports mainly associated with the US. And yet we believe that this growth and expansion in our business and trade ties is far below its actual potential. We are ready to redouble our efforts to realize the full potential of our economic partnership.

The recently convened TIFA inter-sessional in Islamabad helped the two sides to review the state of bilateral trade and business cooperation and lay the ground work for TIFA Ministerial later this year. We would like to encourage the private sectors in the two countries to proactively explore the enormous opportunities. I assure them that we would do everything to facilitate them.

The people of Pakistan have always had tremendous cultural affinity for the US. Our brightest young men and women aspire to study in US Universities and colleges, including through scholarship programs including Fulbright, where Pakistan remains the top recipient in the world. These Fulbright scholars have contributed tremendously to Pakistan’s socio-economic uplift and progress. We also look forward to enhancing educational cooperation between the two countries.

Ladies and Gentleman,

The dynamic and vibrant Pakistani American community is a bridge between our two countries. I am honored to note the immense contributions of the nearly one million strong Pakistani-American community in the US playing an important role in US politics, culture, and economy. They remain the key stakeholder and the most important bridge between our two countries.

More importantly, the diaspora has made particularly significant contributions towards promoting a deeper understanding of each other’s values and traditions. It is this commonality of shared aspirations that provides a solid foundation for our strong partnership in the years ahead!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For me personally, this National Day celebration is particularly significant as this will be my last here as I depart DC tomorrow to take up my next assignment as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the EU, Belgium, and Luxemburg.

I would like to avail of this opportunity to thank all our friends and interlocutors in the Administration, on the Hill, in the media and think tanks and the Diplomatic corps for their support during my tenure as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.

Looking back at my over three years stay in Washington DC, I am happy to note that the relationship between our two countries has remained strong through sustained engagement. We have been able to reinforce our vital cooperation in prioritizing peace, security, and stability in the region and beyond. With your support and cooperation, I believe I was able to make my humble contribution in building a stronger Pakistan-US partnership.

Going forward, I am confident that by working together and through mutual cooperation, our two countries will continue to move this relationship from strength to strength in the years ahead.

I conclude by again thanking all the friends of Pakistan who have joined us today in celebrating this auspicious day. We immensely value your support and contribution in the development of an enduring partnership between Pakistan and the US. I am confident that you will extend the same cooperation to my successor as well.

I wish you and your families good health and happiness.

Pakistan Zindabad

Pakistan – US friendship Paindabad

Washington D.C  March 24, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Commemorative Stamp issued on 550th Birthday Celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee could be purchased placing orders along with payment through bank draft, crossed cheque or Western Union to the following officers of Pakistan Post:

Chief Postmaster, Karachi GPO/Manager
Philatelic Bureau, Karachi GPO Pakistan
E: karachigpoadmn@gmail.com
T: +92 21 99213812 & +92 21 99211105

Cheif Postmaster, Islamabad GPO/Manager
National Philatelic Bureau, Islamabad GPO, Pakistan
E: farhanalimirza@gmail.com
T: +92 51 9201184 & +92 51 9223334