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TEXT: On the auspicious occasion of the Anniversary of the National Day for the accession of Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed, the founder of the State of Qatar, to the rule of the country I do hereby extend my felicitations to His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Emir of the State of Qatar and His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.

At the outset I wish to convey my heartfelt gratitude for the gracious hospitality and cooperation extended to us by the Government and the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on a level not witnessed anywhere. The historic ties that bind the brotherly nations of Pakistan and Qatar is an epitome of an enduring friendship premised upon common faith, aspirations, culture and values, and which has flourished exponentially to take on a multifaceted aspect.

This year Pakistan has encountered an unprecedented challenge in the form of colossal floods that has caused several deaths and decimated livelihoods by submerging large areas of land. Infrastructure in the affected areas tells a story of destruction of epic proportions, that will take years to rebuild. However, this brave nation has once again demonstrated its resilience and God willing like every other instance the nation shall face it with resolve. Qatar as always stands in solidarity with Pakistan and consequently upon the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Emir of the State of Qatar, Qatar has extended unlimited humanitarian assistance since day one and which continues to this day.

The Anniversary of the National Day commemorates the founder of the State of Qatar who succeeded in running the affairs of the country with the support of the Qatari people, consolidating the national rule under his leadership. On September 3, 1971, HH the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, the then Heir Apparent and Prime Minister, declared the dissolution of the 1916 Treaty heralding a new phase in the country's history with the government taking over the reins of power and declaring Qatar as an independent state. The slogan of this year’s National Day is “Our Unity Source of Our Strength” Quoted from speech of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani which affirms cohesion, solidarity and unity of the People of Qatar.

Today’s Qatar would not have been possible without its successive leadership and the people, transforming into a country at the forefront of progress and prosperity. A vast set of policies were adopted by the country whose objective is to achieve a diversified and competitive knowledge based economy that lessens reliance on hydrocarbon products. One such example is Qatar National Vision 2030 that focuses on human, social, economic and environmental development. Qatar’s strategic position, investment friendly environment, abundant energy reserves, an outstanding infrastructure and successful organizations like Qatar Airways, a major global aviation player has also contributed to its prosperity.

What makes this year’s national day celebration special is that it coincides with the 2022 FIFA World Cup which Qatar is in the middle of hosting, it showcases the country’s outstanding readiness be it in the form of building air-cooled stadiums, fan zones, training sites and other outdoor areas for tourists. It was proud moment for His highness the Emir and the nation to host the biggest single-sport competition in the world and make a resounding success out of it. The tournament has kicked off with a dazzling opening ceremony which is widely praised. The matches are being conducted successfully and millions of spectators are right now in Qatar, experiencing the hospitality of the country. So far, nothing of this calibre has been seen in world of football and the culmination is eagerly awaited.

Last but not least Pakistan is a state that exemplifies a nation’s meteoric rise inspite of the challenges it has been facing and this is due to the unrelenting strength of its people. Many countries have sought to emulate this country’s economic model. It has been projected that in the coming decades Pakistan will record impressive growth rates and development which will even surpass developed countries by outpacing them on multiple fronts.

I sincerely affirm my wish for a strong and prosperous Pakistan and I have the confidence that the unique bilateral relation between Qatar and Pakistan will even thrive further with strong ties of brotherhood.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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