ISLAMABAD: The Australian High Commission marked its national day, Australia Day, in the federal capital the other day to coincide with spring. The event was marked with colourful truck art and Sufi music.
“Music and art are a perfect way to celebrate the connections between Australia and Pakistan because they embody the vibrant creativity and cultural diversity of both countries,” said Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson at a reception in Islamabad.
For the event, Karachi-based Phool Patti painted images of Australia in the blooming colours, flowery patterns and taglines of truck art. Islamabad-based Sufi rock musician Abdullah Qureshi entertained guests with a fusion of Pakistani and Australian music. “We are delighted to showcase these colourful Pakistani traditions and infuse them with some Aussie songs, wildlife and landscapes,” Adamson said.
The high commissioner highlighted the history both countries share, and the challenges they are working together to overcome.
“Australia and Pakistan share a Commonwealth heritage and federal systems of government, and are both endowed with vibrant cultural diversity, fragile environments, rare biodiversity and ancient civilisations to protect,” she added.
Australia has long supported Pakistan’s inclusive social and economic development, she further said. “Drawing on Australia’s experience, we back Pakistan in agriculture where there is such potential for jobs and growth, and also in the sustainable management of water. As in Australia and globally, we back women and girls to reach their full potential as equal members of society,” the envoy noted.
Formal bilateral relations date back to Pakistan’s creation, but ties go back to the 1800s when cameleers from Balochistan helped open up Australia’s Outback. Today over 60,000 people of Pakistani-origin live in Australia and thousands of Pakistanis choose to study there. “These all add up to a solid foundation for our friendly relations and cooperation,” Adamson said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2019.
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