Oslo (Exclusive Report)
Pakistan Union Norway, the leading Norwegian Pakistani organisation celebrates Pakistan’s Independence in Norway. The graceful ceremony in connection with 71st Pakistan’s Independence was held at Lorenskog town near Oslo, the capital city during last weekend. The ceremony was addressed by Norway’s Culture Minister Trine Skei Grande, Chairman Pakistan Union Norway Ch Qamar Iqbal, High Sherif of Greater Manchester Dr Robina Shah, Barrister Sibghatullah Kadri QC, Members of Norwegian Parliament Abid Q.Raja and Mudassar Kaboor, Community Welfare Attaché’ of Embassy of Pakistan in Norway Khalid Mahmood and as well mayor of Lorenskog Ragnhild Bergheim.
Speaking at the gathering, the Norwegian Minister for Culture Trine Skei Grande has said, “We pray for earlier prosperity and success of Pakistan”. The minister said, we hope the new prime minister of Pakistan Mr Imran Khan would be able to handle the challenges faced by the country today. “Pakistan would resolve its problems under his leadership as he had achieved cricket’s world cup for the country in 1992,” she expressed hope.
She further said, we welcome new government in Pakistan and pray for the country to get a rid of problems exist. Raising her hands like Islamic pray “Dua”, she continued, “We pray for Pakistan become free of the problems including corruption, extremism and sectarianism.”
She also used many of the Urdu words while greeting the Norwegian Pakistanis on birth anniversary of Pakistan. She said, it is five decades now, the Pakistanis are living in Norway and they are playing an important role in development of Norway as many of them are operating businesses including taxi and restaurant branches and other jobs throughout Norway.
Addressing the Pakistanis, the Norwegian Minister for Culture also quoted a piece of Allama Iqbal’s poetry and speech of Mohammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan. She explained, Iqbal, the national poet of Pakistan stresses on self-reliance and Jinnah struggled for a Pakistan free of ethnic and religious discriminations. The minister also emphasized over the strengthening of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Norway specially cultural ties between the two friendly nations. Earlier in his welcoming speech Chairman Pakistan Union Norway Ch Qamar Iqbal said, we continue the works of our elders since 1970s in order to promote Pakistanis culture in Norway and strengthening Pakistan-Norway relations in different fields.
Speaking on the occasion one of Chief Guests of program Barrister Sibghatullah Kadri, the Queen Counsel UK said, new government in Pakistan needs to correct system in the country. He expressed optimism on the leadership of Imran Khan and said, he gained trust of the people of Pakistan by his democratic political efforts.
Dr Robina Shah, the high sheriff of Greater Manchester who was also chief guest of the Norwegian Pakistani congregation said, it is a great honour for her to be part of this beautiful gathering. She expressed hope for further success of the Norwegian Pakistanis in Norway. She was presented a special award for her exceptional work for the humanity. Two media awards were also given to two women media persons Chief Editor Dhanak London Kauzer Sharaqpuri and Chief Editor Overseas Community Post Norway Ruqiya Koser. Flowers were also presented to some of the leading figures of different fields including Pakistani research scholar Syed Sibtain Shah, legal advisor of Pakistan Union Norway in Pakistan Azmat Farooq Advocate and Chairman of NGO “Sakoon”” Shahid Jameel. The Pakistani famous singer Shazia Manzoor and folk singer Tahir Mahmood Nayyer also performed on the occasion. The Pakistani cultural delegation headed by Pakistani event organiser Abbas Falki participated in the program.