In observance of the 48th Anniversary of Independence and National Day,the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad hosted a reception last evening (26 March 2019) at the five-star Serena Hotel.Bangladesh High Commissioner to Pakistan Tarik Ahsan, his lady wife and officers of the High Commission welcomed the guests at the ceremony.
Special Secretary (Asia & Pacific) Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad attended the reception as the Chief Guest. The reception was also attended, among others, by Parliamentarians, Ambassadors/High Commissioners, diplomats and defence advisers of different Embassies/High Commissions, Heads of International Organizations, high civil/military officials, friends of Bangladesh, businessmen, journalists, members of civil society, cultural community and social elite of Pakistan, Bangladeshi defence officials on training, Bangladeshi students, officers and officials of Bangladesh High Commission along with their spouses and expatriate Bangladeshis.Prominent guests included Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Power Sector Shahzad SyedQasim, Chairman of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Convener of National Assembly Friendship Group for Bangladesh MNA Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk, Senator AfrasiabKhattak, former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, former Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Ansar Aziz, Chairman of Pakistan Ordinance Factory Lt. General Sadik Ali HI(M) etc.
The official part of the reception included playing of national anthems of Bangladesh and Pakistan; speeches by Bangladesh High Commissioner and the Chief Guest and cutting of the anniversary cake by the Chief Guest, Bangladesh High Commissioner along with Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Ambassadors and High Commissioners of SAARC countries and otherdignitaries present.
High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan, while delivering his address, offered profound homage to the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He recalled with gratitude the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs, freedom fighters and men & women who suffered immensely.He remarked that, pursuing the country’s founding principles, Bangladesh has made commendable strides in social development. He added that, posting growth rates above 7% consistently over last few years, Bangladesh is now one of the fastest growing economies of the world, while remaining among the least indebted countries. He informed that, in its new term of office, the government of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is focused on pursuing country’s Vision 2041 to lift Bangladesh to the level of a developed, prosperous country by the year 2041. He maintained that, on the international front, Bangladesh is a voice of peace, moderation and inclusion. Bangladesh plays a pro-active and, in some cases, a leadership role in a variety of global issues such as cultural of peace, climate action, safe migration, rights of linguistic minorities, rights of differently-abled persons, containing violent extremism, counter-terrorism, peace keeping & so on.
The Chief Guest congratulated the government and the brotherly people of Bangladesh on the national day of Bangladesh, and wished progress and prosperity of the people of Bangladesh.He appreciated the role of Bangladesh in providing shelter to the forcibly displaced Rohingya people.
A colourful dance programme was an added attraction to the reception. The performances of dance to the tune of patriotic and folk songs enthralled the guests.
The reception hall was decorated with an impressive array of red-green floral arrangement and colourful banners in the backdrop. The hall was also lighted in a red-green theme. Video documentaries, pictures and slides on the development and touristic attractions of Bangladesh werealso on two big digital screens almost throughout the event. Presentation of food cooked with a Bangladeshi touch and Bangladeshi desserts delighted the guests.
Earlier in the morning, High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan ceremonially hoisted the national flag on the premises of the Chancery of the High Commission in presence of all officers and officials who sang National Anthem.Messages of the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the State Minister were read out in the function. Rich tribute was paid to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and as special prayers were offered for salvation of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and the martyrs of War of Liberation in 1971.