LONDON: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to UK Syed Ibne Abbas has inaugurated a bust of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, installed at the library of Lincoln’s Inn, the Quaid’s alma mater.
The bust was installed at an impressive ceremony recently held in London. This year, the Pakistan High Commission organised year-long celebrations to mark the 70th independence anniversary of the country.
Treasurer of Lincoln's Inn Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Sir Anwar Pervez, Sir William Blackburne, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, MP Rehman Chishti, MP Yasmin Qureshi, Sibghatullah Qadri QC, Asif Rangoonwala and Philip Jackson, the creator of the bust, were among those who attended the ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury shed light on the personality of the Quaid and his student days at the Inn. He said Jinnah was impressed by the large number of books at the Inn’s library, adding that this was one of the reasons he chose to study at the institution.
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He also quoted some lively examples from the Quaid’s life, reflecting his strength of character. He called Jinnah a great leader and great statesman, who made a lasting impact on the history of the 20th century.
Pakistan’s high commissioner Ibne Abbas termed installation of the bust as ‘a dream come true’. He said he had been working on the project for the last two years and eventually the task had been accomplished.
“This is a befitting tribute to the Father of the Nation, which the whole of Pakistan is rejoicing in,” said the high commissioner. He paid rich tributes to the Quaid and termed him one of the world’s leading statesmen who gave a separate homeland to a nation.
“With the installation of the bust, our year-long ceremonies to celebrate the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan have concluded,” he added.
Ibne Abbas thanked the Lincoln’s Inn treasurer and his team, and Sir William Blackburne for their valuable support for having the project accomplished, and also the sculptor, Philip Jackson, for his hard work and dedication.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I’m proud to be part of this event to honour the great Muhammad Ali Jinnah, particularly as someone of Pakistani heritage. Muhammad Ali Jinnah is a pivotal figure in history but is also still an inspiration to us today – not just to Pakistanis, but to millions around the world.
“As a champion of democracy, women’s rights and religious freedom, Muhammad Ali Jinnah will always be someone who millions admire,” said Sadiq, who recently travelled to Karachi, the city where the Quaid was born, during his first official visit to Pakistan as Mayor of London.
“My ambition is to strengthen the ties between London and Pakistan, to share the message that London is open and to encourage more Pakistanis to follow in Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s footsteps by visiting, studying and working in our great city,” he said.
On the occasion, the high commissioner announced the offer of one scholarship each from Sir Anwar Pervez’s Bestway Group and Asif Rangoonwala Foundation annually for Pakistani students.
The selection of the students will be done by the Lincoln’s Inn. This was another highlight of the ceremony and the initiative was hugely appreciated by the treasurer and other guests at the ceremony.