Assallam-o-Alaikum / Kia Ora
Respected Community Members,
PANZ – Otago Pakistan National Day (23 March) Celebrations
Pakistan Association of New Zealand (PANZ) – Otago celebrated 23 March, Pakistan National Day in Dunedin on Saturday 10 April 2021. The event was held at historical building of Dunedin Railway Station.
H.E. High Commissioner for Pakistan Murad Ashraf Janjua, PANZ President Mr Naveed Hamid, Member of Parliament Labour Ingrid Leary, Chancellor Otago University Dr Royden Someville QC, Dunedin City Counsellor Steve Walker, New Zealand Police representative John Karaka, Office of Ethnic Community officials Ana Mapusua and Lina Lastra, President Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council Dr Lakshmanan Selvanesan, various guests, and members of Pakistan community attended and participated in the event.
The event started with Holy Quran recitation by Mohammed Adnan Sharif, and Naat-E-Rasool by the programme host Javeria Munir. Pakistan and New Zealand national anthems were sung during the flag hoisting ceremony.
Dignitaries gave speeches and Pakistan community members and children gave live musical and cultural performances.
Pakistan High Commissioner H.E. Murad Ashraf Janjua said in his speech that Pakistan was created on the basis of an ideology which was formalised through a resolution on 23 March 1940. He emphasised that Pakistan story was often heard and not told, and it was important that Pakistan story should be told with the real content. He appreciated and congratulated PANZ for organsing such an organised event and opportunity for the Dunedin communities to learn about the Pakistan National Day.
PANZ President Mr Naveed Hamid specially acknowledged community and children participation in the event. He also appreciated PANZ – Otago Regional Head Mr Asim Hussain’s efforts towards successfully setting-up and operating PANZ chapter in Dunedin.
Member of Parliament (MP) Ingrid Leary congratulated PANZ and the members of the Pakistan community on Pakistan National Day. MP Ingrid Leary said that it was the first time in her life that she hoisted New Zealand Flag alongside Pakistani flag, which made her feel honoured.
Chancellor Otago University Dr Royden Someville QC acknowledged the contribution of Pakistani community in Dunedin at various levels including academia and research. He told the audience that 23 March was a significant day in Pakistan history as well as in Otago history, as Otago became province on 23 March 1848.
Dunedin City Counsellor Steve Walker said in his speech that he could see a growing and emerging Pakistan community in Dunedin. He shared an interesting story that he was visiting Pakistan where he met with his wife for the first time.
Mr Sahab Akbar, Pakistan community member gave a detailed historic and contemporary overview of Pakistan National Day for the audience.
Pakistan community members Zohaib Amjad and Attika Rehman and Pakistan community children in their colourful outfits gave live musical and vocal performances. The audience joined them in singing various Pakistani national songs.
PANZ General Secretary Mr Umair Zia announced PANZ awards. Mr Asim Hussain, PANZ – Otago Regional Head received PANZ Recognition Award for Community Services. PANZ President Mr Naveed Hamid presented the award. PANZ Star Awards were presented by H. E. Murad Ashraf Janjua to Aroosh Amir, Kauser Asim, Umer Asim, and Abdullah Asim. PANZ Academic Excellence Award was presented by Chancellor Otago University Dr Royden Someville QC to Dr Mudassar Anwar. PANZ National Advisor Mr Qaiser Rashid presented Youth Leadership Award to Arsalan Akhtar.
PANZ National Advisor Mr Qaiser Rashid gave vote of thanks at the end of the event.
Group photos were taken at the courtyard of the Dunedin Railway Station.
Pakistani cultural food was served at the end of the event.
The event was concluded with mix and mingle between the dignitaries and Pakistan community members.
Shukria/ nga mahi
Team # PANZ