x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE's Pakistani community celebrates its independence

Pakistanis will be wrapping up their three-day Independence Day celebrations on a high note, hopeful of a brighter future for their homeland.

ABU DHABI // Pakistanis will be wrapping up their three-day Independence Day celebrations on a high note, hopeful of a brighter future for their homeland. Tomorrow marks the day Pakistan was established as a separate nation in 1947, and the UAE's 850,000-strong Pakistani community has been celebrating with flag-hoisting ceremonies, traditional folk dance and national songs. The Pakistani government, however, urged its embassies to tone down official celebrations and send the money they would have spent to those suffering in Swat. More than 2 million people in that region have been displaced during the Pakistani military's operations against the Taliban. Unofficial celebrations here included a formal dinner on Wednesday hosted by the community leader Izhar Haider, who has lived in the capital for more than 30 years. "On this day, 62 years ago, Pakistan came into being," he said. "There was tension with India and we were having a lot of problems. We needed a separate homeland and we like to give thanks to the founder of our country, Quai-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah." Today, the Pakistan Association Dubai marked the occasion by laying the first brick of its new building. asafdar@thenational.ae