Minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar on Thursday represented the government at the Pakistan Day celebration here that was attended by several political leaders and members of the Hurriyat Conference.
High commissioner Abdul Basit, whose term is set to end soon, received guests during the event at the Pakistani mission. He began his address with a quip about the World Happiness Report 2017 that ranked Pakistan and China ahead of India, which came in at a lowly 122 among the 155 countries on the list.
“We may not be the richest country in the world but according to a recent report we are the happiest one in the region. And that itself is a testimony to the resilience of our people,” Basit said.
“We have no doubt, we are confident that Pakistan is now surging ahead and it is destined to become a regional economic hub and achieve ever more heights in its march towards peace and progress,” he added.
We also wish other regional countries more progress, more prosperity and we hope that whatever variables (and) factors that impede regional cooperation would be eliminated.
Basit, who was recently passed over for the post of foreign secretary, said he hoped the region’s “collective future is far, far better than our past”. He added, “We also wish other regional countries more progress, more prosperity and we hope that whatever variables (and) factors that impede regional cooperation would be eliminated.”
The Pakistani envoy and his wife hosted a dinner for the guests, who included several ambassadors, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Bhat.
Pakistan Day commemorates both the Lahore Resolution passed on March 23, 1940 for the creation of a separate homeland for Muslims in South Asia and the adoption of Pakistan’s first Constitution on the same day in 1956.