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Chanting “Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan”, a large number of Pakistani-Americans gathered on Sunday for the Pakistan Independence Day Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their homeland, with Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry urging them to contribute towards further deepening Washington-Islamabad relations.
Ambassador Chaudhry, who was the chief guest at the parade, told the gathering that the Pakistani diaspora was playing a “valuable role” as a bridge between Pakistan and the United States. In this regard, he especially urged Pakistani-American youth to make their contribution.
Pakistan’s Consul General in New York, Raja Ali Ejaz, called for maintaining unity and renewing their resolve to work together for the greater progress and prosperity of Pakistan.
Sunday’s weather was comfortable as men, women and children — mostly clad in national dresses — came together at this annual event in an impressive show of unity. They exchanged Independence Day greetings with each other.
Raising zindabad slogans and waving the national flag, Pakistanis warmly cheered the parade as it moved down one of New York City’s main avenue, reviewed by Ambassador Chaudhry. The route from Madison Avenue’s 38th street – the starting point- to 23rd street was decorated with Pakistani and American flags.
A number of decorated floats, with some depicting Pakistan’s progress in various fields, while others sponsored by local Pakistani businesses, also wound their way down the avenue. Bands on the floats and on the ground struck up patriotic songs.
Pakistani origin officers of New York Police Department (NYPD) joined Ambassador Chaudhry to cut the Independence Day cake.
The parade was rounded off with a cultural programme. Amanat Ali, a noted Pakistani singer, enthralled the crowd with patriotic and other hit songs. Some local artists also performed.