Pakistanis in New York City hold a colourful parade to celebrate Independence day

New York City Mayor Eric Adam Sunday joined hundreds of flag-waving Pakistani-Americans in Manhattan to celebrate Pakistan’s Independence Day with a parade marking the 76th anniversary of the establishment of their homeland.

“Happy Independence Day to the Pakistani community,” the mayor said as the cheering crowd raised “Pakistan Zinda Bad” and “Quaid-e-Azam Zinda Bad” slogans.

Since assuming his office in January last year, Mayor Adams has been taking steps to make New York City, which has a population of 8.4 million, an ‘open city’, helping thousands of migrants live the “American Dream”, an opportunity to pursue success, equality, and prosperity no matter one’s socio-economic background.

Mayor Adams recalled that on August 16, Pakistan’s flag was raised at Bowling Green, the City’s oldest park, which was the venue where the British colonial flag was lowered and America’s Stars and Stripes raised in 1783. Last year he raised — for the first time — Pakistan’s flag, alongside the American flag, at the same spot on the country’s 75th anniversary.

The Parade Committee, which organized the parade, presented a plaque to Mayor Adams for his services to the City and for cooperation with the Pakistani community.

Pakistan’s Acting Consul General in New York, Nawab Adil Ali Khan, was a special guest at the parade.

Dr. Mahmood Ali, a prominent Pakistani physician, was the Grand Marshal of the parade. He was introduced to the audience by Assad Chaudhry, finance secretary of the parade committee.

Raising slogans and waving the Pakistan and US flags, Pakistani Americans, standing along the route, warmly cheered the parade as it moved down one of New York City’s main avenues, with a unit and a band of the New York Police Department (NYPD) in the lead.

A group of Pakistanis-Americans serving the NYPD also marched with the parade.

Ten decorated floats, with some depicting Pakistan’s progress in various fields, while others sponsored by local Pakistani businesses, also wound their way down Madison Avenue.

Bands on the floats struck up patriotic songs.

The event was rounded off with a cultural programme that enthralled the audience.

By Usmana Kousar