Cultural performance, traditional music added colours to reception

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72nd Independence Day of Indonesia celebrated

Zubair Qureshi

To celebrate 72nd anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, Ambassador Iwan S. Amri and Mrs. Rita Berlinia Amri hosted a reception at Serena Hotel. The venue was decorated with flowers, artifacts and umbrellas arranged in a way that it created Indonesian ambience. One could see familiar faces from the Diplomatic Enclave including those from ASEAN countries, officials of the Foreign Office, members of civil society and parliamentarians in the illuminating halls of the hotel. Besides government dignitaries and diplomats, military officers, businesspersons, politicians and educationists had also come to greet Amri on the historic day and to express solidarity with the nation. In fact, it is August 17 (1945) the national day of Indonesia but this year the embassy celebrated the day on Nov 17 due to some administrative reasons. Cultural dance and music performance and walk on the ramp by Indonesian models were also highlights of the evening.
Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Engineer Balighur Rehman was the chief guest on the occasion. In his brief speech the Minister noted with satisfaction that Indonesia and Pakistan are committed to bolster cooperation in various venues to further expand existing excellent bilateral relations. He underlined the importance of close ties and enhancing people-to-people networks and all-around cooperation to further strengthen the fraternal bond between the two nations.
National anthems of both the countries were also sung in chorus by a group of Indonesian students. Cake was also cut by the chief guest, host of the evening joined by the ASEAN Heads of Missions to mark the day. Ambassador of Indonesia Iwan S. Amir in welcome address said Indonesia is the most Muslim populous country and has transformed into a vibrant third largest democracy in the world. “Indonesia with 1,340 ethnic groups, 1,211 local languages and 17,504 islands is spread out over 3000 km area.”
The envoy said that with such huge size and diversity the real strength and unity of over 250 million people lay in the national slogan of “Unity in Diversity” that provides foundation and ideology for peace, harmony and equality in the country. He stated that Indonesia had witnessed remarkable social, political and economic changes in recent years. It made important progress towards its MDG targets, graduated to a Middle Income Country status and was welcomed to the fold of the G20, he added.
The Envoy elaborated that Indonesia as an emerging economy market is the largest economy in Southeast Asia with a GDP of almost US$1 trillion with above 5pc annual growth rate. Indonesia within two years has climbed from 114 to 72 in the Ease of Doing Business Index.
Ambassador Amri paid rich tributes to President Soekarno and Quaid-e-Azam Muham-mad Ali Jinnah for laying the strong foundation of the diplomatic ties between the two nations following Pakistan independence in 1947. Later, the guests were served with delicious Indonesian and local food.

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