0346 GMT April 21, 2018
The National Day of Pakistan was celebrated in a ceremony held in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Tuesday.
In addition to foreign ambassadors to Iran as well as members of diplomatic corps and internationals organizations in the Iranian capital, the reception was attended by Iran’s Minister of Interior Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Deputy Industry, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Mine and Trade Minister Mohammadreza Fayyaz and the assistant to Iran's foreign minister for West Asia affairs, Rasoul Eslami.
Also known as Pakistan Resolution Day and Republic Day, the occasion is a national holiday in Pakistan commemorating the Lahore Resolution passed on March 23, 1940 and the adoption of the first constitution of the country during the transition of the Dominion of Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on March 23, 1956, making Pakistan the world's first Islamic republic.
Addressing the function, Pakistani Ambassador to Iran Asif Durrani thanked all the guests for gracing Pakistan’s National Day and extended his heartiest felicitations to Iran’s government and people on the auspicious occasion of the arrival of the Iranian New Year (starting March 21).
He added, “We celebrate our National Day to renew our pledge to nurture a society free from discrimination. A society where people have equal opportunities to prosper and live their lives in accordance with their belief. We are striving to promote peace and tolerance as a way forward for the development of our country and neighborhood. We are fighting terrorism and obscurantism and we are succeeding.
Highlighting the myriad challenges Pakistan has faced in recent years, Durrani said his country has sacrificed more than 70,000 of its citizens including armed forces personnel and Law Enforcement Agencies in fighting terrorists and has succeeded in defeating terrorism on its soil.
He added, “Today, there are no safe havens for terrorists on our soil.”
At present, Pakistan is on the path of economic progress and rated as the most progressive emerging market with GDP growth of 6 percent this year and projection of 6.5 percent in the coming year, the ambassador said.
Lauding the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran, which are getting stronger by the day, Durrani said both countries have displayed exemplary cooperation on many regional and international issues.
He noted that the two countries’ bilateral trade has witnessed a 35-percent increase since last year (2017), expressing hope that they would attain $5 billion mark of bilateral trade in the next three years.
The ambassador also hoped that the successful completion of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would help further boost Pakistan-Iran cooperation as transit hubs for the region.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Rahmani Fazli extended felicitations to the government and people of Pakistan on the country’s National Day and lauded the two sides’ 70 years of cultural, civilizational, religious and historical relations.
Reiterating the remarks of the Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, on the expansion and deepening of relations with Pakistan, he said these remarks have given further strength to the bonds between the two states.
He hoped that the opening of new border points between the two countries would enhance the potential of border markets as well as border security.
The development of Gwadar and Chabahar ports in Pakistan and Iran respectively, signing of a free trade agreement between Islamabad and Tehran, their implementation of a preferential trade agreement and establishment of banking channels between the two states would bring about economic prosperity for both the neighbors and the region.