83rd Pakistan Day Celebrations in Chicago

The Consulate General of Pakistan in Chicago organized a simple but dignified reception to mark the 83rd Pakistan Day.

The event was attended by a large gathering of around 300 guests, including senior elected officials, Federal/States officials, representatives of Consular Corps, think tanks, academia, journalists and members of the Pakistani-American Community. Mr. Alexi Giannoulias, Secretary of State of Illinois, was Chief Guest at the occasion.

In his address, Consul General Tariq Karim congratulated the members of the Pakistani-American community on the auspicious occasion of Pakistan Day. Recalling the historic struggle for Pakistan, the Consul General paid rich tribute to the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and all the leaders of Pakistan’s Movement for their tireless efforts and countless sacrifices for Pakistan. He also highlighted the need to adhere to Quaid’s principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline. The Consul General also expressed solidarity with the oppressed people of IIOJK. He emphasized that the international community has a responsibility to act to alleviate the sufferings of the people of IIOJK and settle the J&K dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

The Consul General stated that, despite various challenges, Pakistan has made tremendous progress on multiple fronts in the last 75 years. He highlighted that Pakistan’s geographic location, its demographic dividend and market size, democratic orientation, rich human and natural resources, rapid emergence of tech ecosystem and liberal investment policies have made Pakistan as an important business and investment destination. He also highlighted the tourism potential of Pakistan. He stated that the government was working to address macroeconomic challenges, which have been exacerbated by the unprecedented devastation caused by catastrophic climate-induced floods last year. The Consul General expressed confidence that, as in the past, Pakistan will overcome all challenges and emerge as a stronger and prosperous nation.

The Consul General stressed the importance of longstanding and broad-based relationship between Pakistan and the United States. He highlighted the growing Pak-US trade volume and successful businesses of US enterprises in Pakistan. He stated that the prospects of Pak-US relations were bright and there was an enormous potential between the two countries to further expand their collaboration in diverse fields.

The Consul General highlighted his key priorities and stated that Pakistan’s partnership with the Midwest region was growing with rapid rise in trade, investment and people-to-people interactions. He shared with the participants that Pakistan’s trade volume with the Midwest region had doubled in the last two years. He added that growth in Pakistani exports was impressive and Pakistani products could be seen at various stores across the Midwest. The Consul General highlighted the contribution made by the Pakistani-American community in the socio-economic development of the two countries and their bridge building role. He urged the community members to continue to play important role in the development of the country.

In his remarks, the Illinois’ Secretary of State extended his felicitations on the Pakistan Day. He lauded the role and contribution of the Pakistani-American community. On behalf of the people of Illinois, the Illinois’ Secretary of State also presented a Proclamation to the Consul General, recognizing March 23 as Pakistan Day. Messages of felicitation were received from a number of dignitaries including US Congressman Sean Casten, Illinois’ Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Wisconsin State Rep. Samba Baldeh, Mayor Chicago Lori Lightfoot, DuPage County Board Chair Debroah A. Conroy, Mayor Basta of Bolingbrook and Mayor Noak of Romeoville. These messages, inter alia, recognized the contribution made by the vibrant Pakistani-American community and importance of bilateral relations.

Consul General Tariq Karim along with his spouse and Illinois’ Secretary of State cut the Pakistan Day cake.

There was also a cultural segment of the event with diverse performances and Pakistani music. The performers included Mr. Robinson Sadiq, a prominent member of the Pakistani-Christian community, and a group of children from Illinois-based Christ Church of Pakistan. Guests were also served with traditional Pakistani cuisine.

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