By Arif Qureshi
Islamabad: US ambassador to Pakistan Mr. David Hale hosted a colorful reception to mark 240th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence, and the election of our 45th president at embassy compound on Wednesday in Islamabad. Traditionally United States celebrates its National Day on July 4; but the American Embassy chose to hold its reception in November to emphasize the importance of elections and the democratic process in American culture. American embassy staff warmly welcomed the distinguished guests. Scores of the ambassadors from diplomatic crops, parliamentarians, media personalities, security officials and business community was among the participants. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was the chief guest of the reception.
Approximately 1,000 guests gathered at the American Embassy this morning for a National Day celebration and to view the results of the November 8 American presidential election. It was a different ceremony as compared with other diplomatic functions in Islamabad. The prime features of the ceremony were all the representatives of major political and religious parties were present to celebrate the US National and Election Day ceremony.
Before starting the official ceremony national anthems of Pakistan and China were played. US ambassador to Pakistan Mr. David Hale along with chief guest Finance Minister Ishaq Dar cut the cake of ceremony.
Addressing on the occasion US ambassador to Pakistan David Hale said that last year in a meeting President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif reaffirmed that a mutual commitment to democracy is a key pillar of the U.S.-Pakistan partnership. Welcoming the gathering, Ambassador Hale spoke of the positive bilateral ties between both countries; briefly mentioning US study and other programmes and plans for further cooperation in all fields. He thanked the sponsors of the event; Marriott Hotel for the decorations and food and the staff of the embassy for their efforts in making the event a success – which it was!
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar thanked the host and also spoke of the good bilateral relations between the two countries saying they would continue regardless of who won the election. He concluded by wishing all US citizens a happy National Day on behalf of Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and himself.
Representatives from the diplomatic corps, Pakistani government, businesses, and civil society watched live television coverage of the American elections and also enjoyed a performance of jazz tunes by renowned Lahore-based musical ensemble Sachal Studios.
“We enjoyed the opportunity to introduce our fellow Pakistanis to American jazz through our performance today,” said Sachal Studios sitarist Nafees Khan. “Throughout our career as an ensemble, we have found music is one of the best mediums to communicate and share new ideas between people from different cultures and backgrounds.”