Published in Pakistan Observer (1 Oct. 2011)
ISLAMABAD – Chanting slogans ‘Hamara Yaqeen – Piyara Cheen’ students of Islamabad thronged the Parade Ground (D-Chowk) in Islamabad, on Friday, to endorse the Pak-China friendship. The peace walk was held on the eve of the national day of the People’s Republic of China to pay tribute to the long-lasting friendship.
The walk titled “Friends of China Peace and Harmony Walk” was arranged by different organizations including Islamabad Crescent Lions Club (ICLC), DEVCOM-Pakistan, All Pakistan China Friendship Association (APCFA), Sir Syed Memorial Society, Saba Trust, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Federal Directorate of Education.
Participants waved the flags of Pakistan and China, while a number of children showed up carrying placards with slogans: “Long live Pakistan China Friendship”, “Hamara Yaqeen – Piyara Cheen” (our faith, the loving China), “We are proud of Pak-China Friendship”, “Pak Cheen Dosti Zindabad”.
Energetic beats of the bands played by the five groups of students, added liveliness to the peace walk, which was led by Akram Zaki, former Secretary General of Foreign Office, and Mian Habibullah, APCFA President. Addressing to the participants, Akram Zaki said that “youth is the hope of our nation”, and advocated that “Pakistani youngsters should be enlightened about the long journey of Pak-China friendship that is spread over 6 decades.” Commenting on the present situation of the country, he added that: “It is time when we need to reduce our reliance on the friends that have exploited our potential for their own vested interests. We need to stand on our feet. And China, which has emerged as a strong nation since its independence in 1951, can be a role model for us to excel in socio-economic sectors.”
Mian Habibullah informed the participants that “Pakistan and China declared 2011 as Pakistan China Friendship Year to mark the 60 years of our extremely friendly diplomatic relations. But the government could not administer the celebrations; this is why CSOs have developed a platform ‘Friends of China’ to initiate the celebrations. This walk is the first tribute to a great friend and nation on their national day.”
Munir Ahmed, Coordinator of Friends of China, said: “We should look forward to our genuine and sincere friend China that never betrayed or embarrassed Pakistani nation. In fact, China has always been a great help in all challenging times including the recent one.”
Sibtain Raza Lodhi, the ICLC Vice President said “the walk has revealed the love of the people of Pakistan for China.” Among other who spoke on the occasion included Hateem Soomro, Yasir Tahir, Asma Yasir and Asim Altaf, Programe Manager Saba Trust and Saba Homes.