According to the high commission sources, the first event of this series started with the participation of Pakistani community in the famous London New Year Day Parade on January 1, 2017. Pakistani diaspora from the business circle, banks, media houses and community organizations have shown interest to partner with the high commission in commemorating the 70th independence anniversary of the country, the sources said. Some commitments to sponsor various events have firmed up including an Independence Day event at Trafalgar Square, taken up by the World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis (WCOP).
The sources said PHC London had also organized talk shows on Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Dr Muhammad Iqbal, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Abul Sattar Edhi, highlighting their services and contribution for the cause of Pakistan. A grand Pakistan day function was held on March 23, 2017, largely attended by the people belonging to different walks of life including diplomats, Pakistani community, media and local people. On April 21, a Mehfil-e-Mushaira was held, while a friendly cricket match was also organized on April 30 to celebrate Pak-UK cricket ties, the sources added.
They said, on May 5, Youm-e-Pakistan event was held at Sandhurst, while the Pakistan Society 70th Anniversary annual dinner was organized on May 18. Meanwhile, Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) was held at South Bank centre on May 20, while Pakistan Fashion week was organized at famous Lancaster House on May 20-21 which pulled a large number of visitors. Similarly, from June 19 to July 16, Pakistan Branding on London Double Decker Buses was carried out aimed at promoting tourism and culture of the country.
On August 14, Independence day celebrations and flag raising ceremony was held with the participation of a large number of people. On September 9, Ishq (Heer Ranja )-Anglo Sufi musical was also held, while Faiz Aman Mela was also organized at Conway Hall, the sources added. They said from October 10-20, an event on Echoes of contemplation at the Prince’s school of traditional art was also organised by the Pakistan High Commission.
The sources further said a conference on adventure tourism in Pakistan and a conference on Jinnah was also organized by the High Commission in December. They added that the Bust of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was unveiled at the historic British Museum in a dignified ceremony on November 28, 2017, which was the grand finale of the year-long celebrations. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was the chief guest at the ceremony. He, together with High Commissioner of Pakistan to London Syed Ibne Abbas, installed the bust.