The 70th Independence Day was celebrated in a festive ceremony at the Embassy today. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon was the Chief Guest at the Event.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry began the proceedings with hoisting of the national flag. The flag hoisting was followed by a brief commemorative event. Messages from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out. The Deputy Chief of Mission also read out the text of President Henry Truman’s letter addressed to the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah dated August 15, 1947.
President Truman wrote, “…I wish to assure you that the dominion [Pakistan] embarks on its course with the firm friendship and goodwill of the United States of America. The American people and government anticipate a long history of close and cordial relations with your country….”.
Under-Secretary Shannon in his remarks conveyed his felicitation and best wishes to the people of Pakistan on behalf of President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He underscored that the United States was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Pakistan. He emphasized that the two countries share a long and enduring relationship and Pakistan had been at the center of the most momentous foreign policy events of modern US history including its role in establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and People's Republic of China. He highlighted cooperation between the two countries for achievement of their shared interests and objectives in the areas of economy, defence, education and social development. He acknowledged the tremendous sacrifices of people of Pakistan in fight against terrorism. Ambassador Shannon underlined that Pakistan's successes against terrorism were of vital strategic and regional importance for the US. He said that Pakistan and US share fundamental desire for stability and prosperity and strong people to people ties are reinforcing the cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador Chaudhry speaking on the occasion highlighted the proud journey of Pakistan that has come a long way from a humble beginning in 1947. He said that peoples of Pakistan and United States share common values of democracy, liberty, justice, and rule of law. He expressed confidence that the two countries will work together to further deepen their decades old ties.
Independence Day Cake was jointly cut by the Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry and the Chief Guest Ambassador Tom Shannon. The event was attended by Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells and Acting Secretary of Defence David Helvey besides other officials of the Departments of State and Defence and Pakistani diaspora. The audience also enjoyed Pakistani food and performances by 'Nomad' dancers and Pakistani kids on folk tunes.