UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday praised Pakistan’s valuable contribution to international peace and security at a glittering Pakistan Day reception in New York.
“Pakistan plays an important role at the UN,” Guterres said while briefly speaking to Pakistani journalists at the largely-attended reception hosted by Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi.
The secretary-general especially paid tributes to Pakistani peacekeepers serving several UN missions, noting that some of them had made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace.
The UN chief was conducted to some of displays set up to project Pakistan’s history, culture and its contribution to the United Nations.
When the secretary-general saw the portraits of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, he remarked, “I am familiar with Pakistan’s history, having read some books about the country.
The secretary general acknowledged that Pakistan has been at the forefront in hosting Afghan refugees and added that Pakistan is a beautiful country and he is pleased to participate in the Pakistan Day celebrations.
He also said he knew Pakistan well as he made several visits to the country in his capacity as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Over one hundred Ambassadors to UN who attended the reception, included China, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia,Italy, Russia, Australia, India and a number of ambassadors from Latin America and Arab countries. Also present were senior United Nations officials and members of the Pakistani community.
Earlier, addressing the gathering, Ambassador Lodhi spoke about the significance of the day and highlighted the role and contribution of Pakistan at the United Nations.
The reception was rounded off with a soul-stirring rendition of “Dil, Dil, Pakistan,” by Imran Ahmed, a young Pakistani student of journalism at Columbia University.
Meanwhle, Pakistan Ambassador in Washington, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, at a reception in the US Capital said the ‘Pakistan Day’ reminded us of the need to uphold democratic ideals and principles that inspired the Muslims of the Subcontinent to forge unity in their ranks in pursuit of their cherished dream. He characterized the 77th”Pakistan Day” as being particularly important since the nation would be celebrating 70th anniversary of independence this year.
Ambassador emphasized that Pakistan was well on its way to a future of peace and prosperity. Leadership, Security forces and the People of Pakistan had demonstrated unanimity and supreme resolve in eliminating terrorism from the country.