By Guido Lanfranchi.
On Friday March 23rd, H.E. Mr. Shujjat Ali Rathore and the Embassy of Pakistan to the Netherlands celebrated “Pakistan Day” with the diplomatic community of The Hague.
On March 23rd, 1940, the All-India Muslim League adopted the Lahore Resolution and the first constitution of Pakistan, thus setting the stage for the foundation of Pakistan. Sixteen years later, on March 23rd, 1956, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was established as the word’s first Islamic republic. The relevance of these two events can well explain the importance that March 23rd has for the Pakistani government and, especially, for the Pakistani people.
Celebrations for this day, however, are not limited to Pakistan. On Tuesday, H.E. Shujjat Ali Rathore, Ambassador of Pakistan to the Netherlands and the staff of the Pakistani Embassy decided to celebrate this anniversary with the whole diplomatic community of The Hague.
A number of guests, including several diplomats and Ambassadors, gathered in the reception room of Hilton Hotel The Hague, and were warmly welcomed by H.E. Shujjat Ali Rathore, his spouse Uzma, and the staff of the Embassy. Then, in a crowded hall, the Ambassador officially welcomed all the participants and delivered his speech. He reminded the pivotal role played by the Lahore Declaration in the foundation of the Pakistani nation, “a homeland for the Muslims in the region.”
He then praised the vivacity of Pakistan’s political environment, allowed by Pakistan’s strong commitment to its active, “noisy” democracy. The Ambassador also highlighted the significant economic role that Pakistan is increasingly playing in South Asia, especially in the light of its economic development and its collaborations with surrounding countries. He then thanked all the guests for their participation, and he invited them to enjoy the buffet kindly provided by the Embassy.
The guests remained for a long time in the room, entertaining conversations in the midst of drinks and wonderful, spicy Pakistani specialties. In the reception hall, they could also admire an array of typical carpets, books, and decorative objects brought by the Embassy staff.
When the guests started to gradually leave the Hilton, they warmly thanked His Excellency the Ambassador and the whole staff for this really pleasant reception.