ISLAMABAD - The Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee celebrations started at the British High Commission in Islamabad yesterday.

It was the first in a series of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee week which will also see birthday celebration events in Karachi and Lahore - the latter closing with a performance from Qawwali singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Hosted by British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner, the event in Islamabad was attended by the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as chief guest along with other senior ministers, foreign dignitaries and celebrities. During his speech, the British high commissioner reminded guests of Her Majesty’s dedication and commitment to public service.

While speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan-United Kingdom friendship was historic. He expressed his government’s resolve to further strengthen Pakistan-UK bilateral relations in diverse fields especially in the areas of trade and investment.

 

 

He referred to his recent telephonic conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on strengthening trade and economic cooperation and said, “We are expecting a trade delegation from UK very soon.”

He extended warm felicitations to the UK on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan over the 75th Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and wished the Queen a happy, healthy and long life. The prime minister said that 75th coronation of Queen Elizabeth II also coincided with the platinum independence ceremonies of Pakistan as well as 75th anniversary of Pakistan-UK diplomatic and friendship relations.

The prime minister also cut a special cake on this occasion to mark the event. Events across the world have been marking Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and her 70 years of service to the people of the UK, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

 

As part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations on the weekend of June 4-5, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the British High Commission, lit a beacon to celebrate the occasion at the same time as it was done in the Commonwealth capitals. The Pakistan Monument in Islamabad was lit up in purple, the colour of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The event also underlined Pakistan and the UK’s 75-year partnership - at the heart of which is   people to people links, a 1.6 million Pakistani diaspora in the UK, 500,000 approximate annual visits in both directions, and around 100,000 British nationals based in Pakistan.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries. It is home to 2.5 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. 32 of its members are small states, including many island nations. Commonwealth member governments have agreed to share goals like development, democracy and peace.