Islamabad: Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan Iwan S. Amri and Mrs. Rita Berlinia Amri hosted a colorful reception to commemorate the auspicious occasion of the 72nd National Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia at Serena hotel Islamabad on Friday. The venue was beautifully decorated with flowers, artifacts and umbrella arrangements, creating a unique Indonesian ambiance. Singing of Pakistani National Anthem by Indonesian students wearing their national dress in a melodious way was the most surprised item that amazed the audience.
Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman was the chief guest on the occasion.The official programme started off with the singing of the national anthems of both the countries in chorus by a group of Indonesian students before the host and the chief guest joined by the ASEAN Heads of Missions performed the cake cutting ceremony.
Ambassador Amri in his remarks said that Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country and has transformed into a vibrant third largest democracy in the world. He said that Indonesia with 1,340 ethnic groups, 1,211 local languages and 17,504 islands is spread out over 3000 km area. He said that with such great size and diversity, the real strength and unity of over 250 million people lies in the national slogan of ‘Unity in Diversity’ that provides the foundation and ideology for peace, harmony and equality in the country.
He stated that Indonesia has witnessed remarkable social, political and economic change in recent years. It has made important progress towards its MDG targets, graduated to a Middle Income Country status and was welcomed to the fold of the G20. He elaborated that Indonesia, as an emerging economy market, is the largest economy in Southeast Asia with a GDP of almost $1 trillion with above 5%, annual growth rate and within two years has climbed from 114 to 72 in the Ease of Doing Business Index.
Ambassador Amri paid rich tributes to President Soekarno and Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for laying the strong foundation of the diplomatic ties between the two nations following Pakistan independence in 1947. Saying that both countries have come a long way and attach great importance to their bilateral ties, highlighting the cooperation that the two countries are enhancing in political, defence cooperation, education and tourism spheres. He informed that visa requirements have been relaxed for the Pakistani citizens to promote stronger people to people contacts.
Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman in his remarks congratulated the ambassador on behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan. He noted with satisfaction that Indonesia and Pakistan are committed to bolster cooperation in various venues to further expand existing excellent bilateral relations. He underlined the importance of close ties and enhancing people-to-people networks and all-around cooperation to further strengthen the fraternal bond between the two nations.
To the pleasant surprise of guests an exclusive cultural show of Balinese dances and costumes was arranged. Balinese dances are characterised by intricate finger movements, complicated footwork, and expressive gestures and facial expressions, introducing the guests to some very beautiful and exotic culture. The reception was well attended by the government dignitaries, diplomats, Pakistani military officers, businesspersons, politicians and other civil society members.The reception not only celebrated the anniversary of Indonesia’s independence but its diversity, food and culture.