Blinken hails Pak-US ties on 75th anniversary

Pakistan flag raised at historic site in New York City


APP August 14, 2022
FILE

WASHINGTON:

The United States greeted Pakistan on its 75th Independence Day on Sunday, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken voicing hope that the relationship between the two countries would continue to grow.

In a statement, Secretary Blinken said this year also marked 75 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Pakistan. “We congratulate you on this important milestone and wish you a Happy Independence Day!” he said.

“We enjoy robust cooperation in many sectors, from the tens of thousands of Pakistani exchange students who have come to the United States to the 77 million Covid-19 vaccine doses we have committed to Pakistan through Covax,” Blinken noted.

“The United States continues to be Pakistan’s largest export destination and I am confident our relationship will continue to grow. As we commemorate our 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, let us resolve to renew and strengthen our partnership for the next 75 years and beyond.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ‘Crescent-And-Star Green’ was raised for the first time at the Bowling Green – a historic spot in New York City where the British colonial flag was lowered and America’s ‘Stars and Stripes’ was raised in 1783 – to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day on Sunday.

Slogans of “Pakistan Zinda Bad” rang out as New York City Mayor Eric Adams raised the Pakistan flag, alongside the US flag. National Anthems of the two countries were also played at the ceremony attended by Pakistan’s Consul General Ayesha Ali, top city officials and members of the Pakistani community.

Also read: Celebrations in full swing as Pakistan marks diamond jubilee

In his brief remarks, Mayor Adams, the second Afro-American mayor of city, congratulated the people of Pakistan on the golden jubilee of their independence and wished them continued progress and prosperity. He praised their contribution to the progress and development of New York City.

“We value diversity. We welcome everyone. We respect the rights of all—regardless of religion, immigration status, or gender identity,” the mayor said. Ali Rashid of the American Pakistani Advocacy group (APAG), thanked the mayor for this gesture.

Consul General Ayesha Ali also thanked Mayor Adams for the honour done to Pakistan, which she said, “stands for peace and economic development and connectivity” in the region. “I feel proud to see my country’s flag flying in the middle of this city,” she said.

On the occasion, Mayor Adams also introduced Asim Rehman, a Pakistani-American, whom he had appointed as commissioner and chief administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). Rehman is the first Muslim-American and the first South Asian to lead OATH.

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