MAMOSA Report — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and over 100 ambassadors to the UN attended a glittering Pakistan Day reception hosted by Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi in New York.
The Secretary General praised Pakistan’s valuable contribution to international peace and security and said, “Pakistan plays an important role at the UN,” while briefly speaking to Pakistani journalists at the largely attended reception.
The UN chief especially paid tributes to Pakistani peacekeepers serving in several UN missions, noting that some of them had made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace.
Guterres appreciated the displays set up to project Pakistan’s soft image, history, culture and its contribution to the UN.
Also on display were photographs of Pakistani women who have excelled in their respective professions. “I am familiar with Pakistan’s history, having read some books about the country,” the UN chief remarked when he saw portraits of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal.
He also said that he knew Pakistan well as he made several visits to the country in his capacity as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Ambassadors to UN from China, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Russia, Australia, India and a number of ambassadors from Latin America and Arab countries graced the occasion. Also present were senior UN officials and members of the Pakistani community.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Maleeha spoke about the significance of the day and highlighted the role and contribution of Pakistan at the US. “As a steadfast advocate for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including the right to self-determination of people living under foreign occupation, Pakistan has championed the ideals of human dignity and respect at the international stage,” she said.
“In many conflict zones across the world, the sapling of peace has been nourished by the ultimate sacrifice of Pakistani peacekeepers,” she said. “Pakistan is proud of the service of our blue helmets,” she said.
She told the audience that Pakistan had achieved a major turnaround in the security and economic domains, pointing out that people’s resilience remained its greatest strength.
“A functioning democracy, an independent judiciary, vibrant media and an active civil society, provide the necessary foundations for Pakistan’s long-term progress and prosperity,” she said. “Pakistan is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations – Mohenjo Daro, Harappa and Taxila,” she said. “They stand as abiding testimonies to the indelible imprint that my land and its people have left over ages on humanity’s march towards progress and development,” she said.
The reception was rounded off with a soul-stirring rendition of “Dil, Dil, Pakistan” by Imran Ahmed, a young Pakistani student of journalism at the Columbia University.