This year, we will gather for the 31st consecutive year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Pakistan independence. This is a truly joyous and auspicious occasion. We should be proud of the achievements of the Pakistani Americans and prestige of our native land and reaffirm our conviction to make it stronger, democratic and more prosperous. Pakistan gained its independence on August 14, 1947. Pakistan came into existence under a Divine scheme despite tribulations and crisis after a long struggle under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The Father of the Nation of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam M. A. Jinnah said in a message to the nation on September 30, 1943, “We have a great history and a past behind us. Let us prove worthy of it and bring about true renaissance of Islam and revive its glory and splendor.”
A veteran journalist and a community leader Mr. Zahid Hameedi, who pioneered and developedthe first Pakistani TV program from the Nation’s capital in 1983 to provide cultural, social and political information for South Asians and Americans, was instrumental to introduce the celebration of Pakistan independence in Nations capital
To celebrate the anniversary of Pakistan Independence in Washington DC on August 14, 1987 was first in the sense that never before have Pakistanis celebrated their day of liberty on such a grand scale in the nation’s capital of the United States. The first Pakistan Festival USA was organized at the Lincoln Memorial.
The gathering was an eloquent testimony of the love and affection of Pakistani people living in the United States and their American friends. There was no place more appropriate to hold independence day celebrations at the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, emancipator and quintessential American hero. Subsequent celebrations were held at the Washington Monument (sylvan Theatre), DC Armory and Montgomery Fairgrounds to promote and further the idea of the father of the nation (Quaid-e-Azam M. A. Jinnah).
Salient features of the Pakistani festival are:- performances of popular artists from Pakistan, children’s entertainment, children and grown up fashion shows, delicious mouth watering Pakistani cuisine, booths of Pakistani boutiques, jewelry, artifacts, handcrafts, mehndiee and much more.
The program will be telecast LIVE on dish network via satellite to more than 130 countries of the world.
The unique part of the festival was participation of U.S Presidential drill team, presentation of colors by US Army, Coast guards and Navy.
The Pakistani people are honored to hold their Independence Day celebrations in the country, where constitutional democracy was born over two centuries ago. America in 1776 held high its arms and lit the lamp of republican democracy. That beam of light has brightened the entire world with its promise of hope and human dignity.
Our aim is to rekindle the ideal and vision that created Pakistan, and rededicate ourselves to the guiding principles of the creation of Pakistan. The ideals our Father of Nation held dear: Unity, Faith & Discipline. And one way to do this is to recall and constantly keep in view the various phases of the struggle and sacrifices that led to the creation of Pakistan. More important, we believe the Festival provides an opportunity for the second generation of Pakistani-Americans to acquaint themselves with their cultural heritage, traditions, and renew bonds with their homeland.
We are a peace and freedomloving nation. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people in a fraternity of freedom lovers, in pursuit of peace and love all over the world.
Let us pray To Almighty to give us strength and guidance to work for the prosperity of Pakistan and the United States of America. Long Live the United States, Long Live Pakistan.