New York August 14 2022: Pakistan’s green-crescent-and star was raised for the first time today to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day at Bowling Green, a historic spot in New York City where the British colonial flag was lowered and America’s Stars and Stripes raised in 1783.
Slogans of “Pakistan Zinda Bad” rang out as New York City Mayor Eric Adams personally raised the Pakistan flag, alongside with the US flag, on the mast. National Anthems of the two countries were played.
The ceremony was attended among others by Pakistan’s Consul General Ayesha Ali, top city officials and members of the Pakistani community.
The credit for this event goes largely to to the America Pakistani Advocacy group (APAG), whose President Ali Rashid worked hard with the city major’s office in this regard.
APAG is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote Pakistani ethnic identity and customs through engagements, educational resources, career opportunities, and personal advancement.
In brief remarks, Mayor Adams, the second afro-American mayor in history, congratulated the people of Pakistan on the golden jubilee of their independence and wished them continued progress and prosperity. He praised their contribution to the progress and development of the city.
“We value diversity. We welcome everyone. We respect the rights of all—regardless of religion, immigration status, or gender identity,” the mayor said.
Ali Rashid, the APAG president, thanked the mayor for this gesture, saying Pakistani community is the fourth largest ethnic community in New York City.
Ayesha Ali, the Pakistan consul general also thanked Mayor Adams for the honour done to Pakistan, a country which she said stand for peace and economic development and connectivity in the region.
“I feel proud to see my country’s flag flying in the middle of this city,” she exclaimed.
Ms. Ali told the audience that she is the second female Pakistani consul general and the first to be appointed to the post in the last 30 years.
Several other city officials and and community activists, including Adeel Rana, made remarks on the occasion.
“It’s a very proud moment for us,” Rana, who is the first Pakistani deputy inspector in the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Mayor Adams also introduced Asim Rehman, a Pakistani, whom he had appointed as commissioner and chief administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). Rehman is the first Muslim-American and the first person of South Asian descent to lead OATH.
“I feel so proud as a Pakistani,” he said.