ISLAMABAD    -   To celebrate the Independence Day of Pakistan, a flag hoisting ceremony was held yesterday at the High Commission for Pakistan in Canberra, Australia.

High Commissioner Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri raised the flag with the national anthem of Pakistan. The flag hoisting pro­ceeded with the recitation from the Holy Quran. Messages of the President and the Prime Minis­ter were also read out. Speaking on the occasion, the High Com­missioner paid tribute to the founding fathers of Pakistan for their sacrifices to create a sepa­rate homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent. He appreciat­ed the role of overseas Pakistan­is and called them an asset to the country. On behalf of Presi­dent of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, the High Commissioner conferred Tamgha-i-Quaid-i-Azam on Senator David Shoebridge for his outstanding services in the field of human rights and social justice. The High Commissioner also appreciated Senator Shoe­bridge’s strong advocacy for the human rights of the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Senator David Shoebridge thanked the Govern­ment of Pakistan for conferment of the Tamgha-i-Quaid-i-Azam. He stated that human rights were under threat around the globe under authoritarian re­gimes. He appreciated the Paki­stani community’s strong advo­cacy of human rights.

He underscored the need to build global alliances to high­light the grave humanitarian situation in IIOJK. Assistant Secretary Megan Jones from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ex­tended warm felicitations on behalf of the Govt of the Com­monwealth of Australia to the Govt and people of Pakistan on the75thIndependence Day. She highlighted the close and historic relations between the two countries as well as the shared love for cricket. She also appreciated the contribu­tions of Pakistani Diaspora to the development of Australia. The flag hoisting ceremony was attended by Parliamen­tarians, Australian officials, academicians, media, and the Pakistani community.