President’s speech Nawroz Festival on March 27, 2014

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Speech by the President of Pakistan His Excellency Mamnoon Hussain

Nawroz Festival, Kabul

March 27, 2014

 

Your Excellency, President Hamid Karzai,

Honourable Heads of State,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

I am delighted to be in Kabul to participate in the Nawroz Festival, so graciously organized by President Karzai.

 

I bring with me the warm and cordial greetings of the people of Pakistan for the brotherly people of Afghanistan.

 

I also extend our heartfelt felicitations to over 300 million people who celebrate Nawroz around the world. May the coming year bring greater joy, health and happiness to everyone.

 

The message of Nawroz is highly sublime: “Life in harmony with nature.”

 

Nawroz also symbolizes renewal and hope – embodied in the onset of Spring and the New Year.

 

For more than 3,000 years, this festive occasion has been celebrated in regions such as the Balkans, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia and beyond.

 

In Pakistan, large communities observe Nawroz — as families and friends get together, host traditional rituals and social practices, and decorate the Nawroz tables with “haft seen.”

 

Excellencies,

 

It is universally acknowledged that all cultures and civilizations contribute to the enrichment of humankind.

 

It is thus gratifying that the awareness of Nawroz is finding global recognition.

 

The United Nations General Assembly has already declared 21stMarch as the “International Day of Nawroz.”

UNESCO has included Nawroz in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Excellencies,

Today’s event illustrates the cultural solidarity that our diverse countries – located in West, Central and South Asia – share with each other.

 

It proves, again, that culture is a powerful medium to bring people closer, foster deeper understanding, and promote peace and harmony.

 

I propose that we must regularly celebrate events which emphasize the unity of our cultural heritage and help strengthen ties among our peoples on the basis of tolerance, mutual respect, and the ideals of peace.

 

Excellencies,

 

We live in a region that is not only rich in culture, but also endowed with immense human and material resources.

 

We not only share bonds of history, but also a common aspiration for a prosperous future.

 

Our combined strength represents a potential that may have very few parallels.

 

The possibilities offered by enhanced exchanges among our peoples, and greater linkages in energy, communications, trade and investment, transportation, and infrastructure, are enormous.

 

Through concrete measures, we can translate this vast potential into a living reality and utilize it for advancing our socio-economic development goals.

 

Excellencies,

 

Our vision for progress and prosperity can be achieved by resolutely addressing the common challenges we face.

 

Peace and stability is the most important pre-requisite for development.

 

Cooperative approaches to build peace and security are indispensible.

 

For its part, Pakistan remains committed to forging friendly and good-neighbourly relations with all countries in the region.

 

We will continue to support all endeavours aimed at promoting peace, progress and shared prosperity.

 

I also take this opportunity to express our strong solidarity with the fraternal Afghan people, as they go through important transitions in 2014 and beyond.

 

We extend most sincere wishes for their success at this defining moment in Afghanistan’s history.

 

Excellencies,

 

As I conclude, I reiterate my appreciation to President Karzai for hosting this remarkable event.

 

I also wish peace, happiness and prosperity to everyone celebrating Nawroz.

 

Nawroz Pirooz,

 

Eid-e-Shuma Mubarak

 

Thank you very much.

 

*******

 

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