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Pakistan Independence Day in Sydney

Coverage By: Syed Zafar Hussain, Aisha Amjad & T.Khan)

H. E. Mr Tasawar Khan

“We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions, in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law we are a nation.” – Quaid-e-Azam ( 1942)

The beautiful Castle Grand Function room provided the perfect backdrop for the Pakistan Association of Australia’s celebration of Pakistan Day on Friday 18 March 2011.

Despite the bad weather, there were a number of prominent Federal and State MP’s and Senators, who made a laudable effort to not only attend, but speak at the function. This was particularly significant as it was a great step in strengthening the relationship between the broader Australian community, its Parliamentary representatives and the Pakistani Community.
The Parliamentary representatives and special guests included: Julie Owens MP (Federal Member for Parramatta); Lee Rhiannon (Federal Greens Senator); Barbara Perry MP (Member for Auburn); Paul Lunch MP (Member for Liverpool); Ray Williams (Member for Hawkesbury); Peter Primrose MLC; and Shaoquett Moslemane MLC.Aisha Amjad was MC of the Function.

The Pakistani dignitaries included His Excellency Tasawar Khan (Acting High Commissioner for Pakistan); Mr. Azam Mohammad (Consul General, Sydney); Brigadier Zahoor Ahmad (Defence Adviser for Pakistan) Mr. Nadeem Jaffar ( Area Manager Pakistan International airlines. The Greens candidate for the State election, Mrs Mehreen Farooqi was also there, along with a large contingent of the Subcontinent Friends of Labor group led by Mr Harish Velji.

To honour our heritage, Pakistan, and as a tribute to our home, Australia, the event was kicked off with both respective national anthems. This was followed by a meaningful dua and recitation of the Holy Quran by Maulana Thanvi.
Mr Naeem Babar delivered an impressive presentation and update on the Land Project (to establish a Pakistani community centre), what it will look like, and how the Pakistani community will be able to benefit from the facilities.
Pakistan Day is celebrated across the globe to commemorate the passing of the Lahore resolution in 1940, which cemented the formation of Pakistan as a new nation. It is also known as Republic day because it celebrates the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan which officially made the Dominion of Pakistan become the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The importance and significance of Pakistan Day and its history was articulated very beautifully by Julie Owens MP. Barbara Perry spoke about functions like Pakistan Day demonstrating how two cultures and countries can exist in harmony and how much the Pakistan community, like other cultures, contribute to Australia in various facets.

Many functions have been held by the Pakistani Community over the last few months to raise money for the Queensland Flood victims. This is symbolic of our solidarity and sympathy with the broader Australian Community. The Pakistan Day Function again, was a testament to the spirit and charity of the Pakistani Community, particularly under the leadership of the President, Mr. Iftikhar Rana. Although the Association is only just over forty years old, Mr. Rana is credited with taking the Association to a new unprecedented level in terms of political engagement, community needs, media interaction, and raising awareness locally, nationally and internationally through various events.

In his role as President over the last two years, Mr Rana has raised the profile of the Community and raised a record amount of money in fund raising initiatives for a range of causes because of his commitment in honouring the notion that Charity sees the need, not the cause.

Mr. Rana gave a detailed account of what the Association has achieved in the past as well as its focus for the future.
The Pakistan Association, through its executive members and supporters, has also been actively engaging with a number of prominent people from both Australia and Pakistan to strengthen the mutual interests of both countries and develop a more coherent, co-operative and constructive relationship.

 Behalf of the Australian Pakistani community,Syed Zafar Hussain Editor -in-Chief Sada-e-Watan presented appreciation shields to the Minister Barbara Perry MP & Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E. Mr. Tasawar Khan.
A number of awards were presented to key figures from the Australian and Pakistani Community to acknowledge the valuable contributions they have made.

David Borger MP and the Shaoquett Moslemane MLC were both presented with an award for their immense assistance and support shown for Pakistan in the wake of the Pakistani Floods.

Dr Akram Hassan was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for inspiring and guiding the Pakistani Community in Sydney. Dr Amanullah Khan was also presented with a shield to appreciate his hard work and leadership throughout the Community. Dr Javed Mahmood was given an award in recognition of his efforts to unite and mobilise the Community.
The awards for Community Service were given to Mr. Mehdi Juddani of Best and Less Travel (Best Travel Agent Award); and Spice of Life (Best Restaurant Award).

Entertainment on the night was a electric mix of Pakistani Ghazals, pop songs and poetry mainly provided by the popular group Jazbaah & Singer Shagufta Zia.

The scrumptious food was catered by Himalaya Restaurant, a true favourite in the Community because of its consistency in preparing and delivering great food and good service.
Mr. Umer Ghani was a crucial help in getting on stage and raising funds for the Queensland Funds through his auctioneering and MC Skills.

Rudolf Steiner once said “A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.”

The Pakistan Day function was not only a success, but a great example of the above through the various people who once again came together to show their unconditional support for the Association; and their pride as active participants in the Pakistani-Australian Community.

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