Australia Day in Spring celebrated in Islamabad

Australia’s High Commissioner in Pakistan Neil Hawkins hosted a lively reception to celebrate Australia Day in Spring, symbolizing the enduring bond between Australia and Pakistan.

In his address, High Commissioner Hawkins emphasized the strong historical ties spanning over 160 years and the shared ambition to capitalize on the dynamism between the two nations.

“Australia and Pakistan are both relatively young nations but old civilizations. We share a federal system of governance, together with a rich cultural diversity, delicate ecosystems, and unique biodiversity,” Hawkins remarked, underscoring the depth of the relationship.

Highlighting Australia’s commitment to supporting a democratic, inclusive, prosperous, and stable Pakistan, Neil Hawkins emphasized the importance of gender equality, expressing excitement about collaborating with Pakistani partners to empower women and girls.

Hawkins also celebrated 40 years of cooperation between the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and Pakistan, highlighting joint efforts to develop the agricultural sector and implement sustainable water management practices, crucial in the face of climate change impacts. He also noted four decades of cooperation between the police agencies of the two countries.

Australian High Commissioner Hawkins expressed confidence in the more than 100,000 Australian-Pakistanis and thousands of Pakistani Australian alumni, envisioning their roles in bringing the countries closer together. He also highlighted Australia’s increasing involvement in Pakistan’s mining sector and emerging dairy industry.

Pakistani Minister for Commerce Jam Kamal Khan attended the ‘Australia Day in Spring’ celebration as the chief guest. In his address, he underscored the longstanding and multifaceted friendly relations between Pakistan and Australia.

Emphasizing mutual respect and cooperation, he highlighted the significance of sports, particularly cricket, squash, and hockey, in fostering recognition between the two nations, noting Australia’s High Commissioner Neil Hawkins’ enthusiasm for hockey.

Kamal outlined Pakistan’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with Australia, praising Canberra’s role as a development partner in sectors like agriculture and education.

Acknowledging Australia’s trade surplus, Kamal proposed steps to deepen bilateral cooperation, including exploring agro-trade industries and efforts to reduce trade barriers, while also expressing gratitude for Australia’s support to Pakistani students through educational scholarships and recognizing the contributions of the Pakistani diaspora.

The celebration brought together a diverse group of friends of Australia, including politicians, officials, diplomats, media representatives, businesses, development partners, and colleagues, further cementing the strong bonds between the two nations.

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