By H.E. Mr. Rab Nawaz Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to Romania
Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on August 14 every year with zeal and fervor. It was on this day in 1947 that Pakistan was founded as a separate homeland so that Pakistanis could live in freedom and shape their lives according to their values. Pakistanis are proud of the fact that their freedom struggle was fought along constitutional lines and Pakistan came into being through a political and democratic process under the dynamic leadership of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, father of the nation.Pakistan has come a long way since its independence and remains optimistic in the face of daunting challenges. We have emerged as a strong and vibrant nation and responsible member of the international community. Pakistan is a proud and resilient nation whose people value their honour and dignity and believe in the universal values of freedom, equality, tolerance and brotherhood. A free and resolute nation is the best ally and defence against those who aim to deflect the cherished aspirations for which Pakistan came into being. The nation today stands united and ready to spare no sacrifice to uphold the dignity and to protect its vital interests. A vibrant polity, independent judiciary, free media, active civil society and robust strategies are the existing strengths of Pakistan.On the political front, democracy has established a firm grip in the national life. (…)On the economic side, Pakistan is undergoing a stabilization process, generating growth, employment and improving the quality of life of its people. Despite the devastating floods in southern Pakistan during 2011 and the adverse impact of security challenges, the economic growth rate of 3.7 per cent registered during the financial year 2011-12 is an achievement. Pakistan has emerged today as a country of enormous potential of 180 million people with a growing middle class, sophisticated business culture, sound capital market and vast natural resources. On the bilateral front, the Pakistan-Romania relations have been historically friendly and cordial, characterized by cooperation at international fora and shared perceptions and understanding on major global and regional issues. More recently, the relations have witnessed an upward trend with the exchange of a number of parliamentary and business delegations during 2011-12. The two countries have regular consultations mechanism in place, with the next round of consultation scheduled to take place in Islamabad. An Agreement on Scientific, Cultural and Economic Cooperation was signed in September 2011 while some other agreements are being finalized. The bilateral trade has shown steady growth over the years, even though it is still below its true potential. In the culture field, the Mihai Eminescu monument in Islamabad is a symbol of lasting friendship between the peoples of the two countries. The twinning project of Iasi and Multan cities is expected to be finalized soon in order to further strengthen the cultural ties. A number of Pakistani professionals are working in transnational corporations in Romania and in Romanian firms. Besides, a sizeable number of Pakistani students are pursuing their academic careers in various Romanian universities. I am confident that our bilateral relations will continue to strengthen in the years ahead.I would also like to take this opportunity to convey my greetings and best wishes to the Pakistani Community in Romania on the 66th Independence Day of Pakistan. Long live Pakistan – Romania Friendship.