LA Celebrates Pakistan Independence Day
A Pakistan Link Report


Pictures above: Pakistan Independence Day celebrations at the Exposition Park

Los Angeles, CA: The Pakistan Independence Day celebration at the Exposition Park organized by Friends of Pakistan on August 12 was a spectacular success. Both the star artists – Abrar-ul Haq and Rahim Shah - who were to perform at the function were not present on the day yet their absence did not dampen the spirit of the charged crowd that had turned up in record numbers to spontaneously cheer Haroon Rashid and other artists who spiritedly sang popular national songs and gave a truly scintillating performance.
The arrangements were meticulously planned and executed to perfection. No wonder, the program was telecast live by ARY to 125 countries. The organizers - Sarfraz Khan, Zafar Abbas, Qazi Asad, Zubair Rawda, Ismail Ebrahim, Yousuf Ebrahim, Sameer Moosani et al - deserve accolades for their efforts in arranging the highly enjoyable and entertaining program.
A large number of dignitaries, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas, Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles, Sheriff Mack Winbish of Kern County, Raza Aqes (representing Congresswoman Jane Harmen), and Jimmy Hills (Deputy Fire Chief of Los Angeles) graced the occasion. It was for the first time that the Mayor of Los Angeles attended a function marking the Independence Day of Pakistan.
The presence of the surging crowd that according to one estimate approximated 10,000 seemed to testify to the overwhelming support extended by the community to the program organizers. Their presence till the very end of the function was vividly indicative of the mood. Major restaurants in LA and a large number of vendors had also put up stalls in the sprawling lawns of the Exposition Park to serve their choicest dishes to the mirthful community of Pakistani Americans and they certainly added to the gaiety and jollity of the occasion.
The speeches were brief but impressive. Mayor Villaraigosa congratulated members of the Pakistani-American community on the Independence Day. He also acknowledged the multifarious contributions of the community in enriching the LA scene – socially, culturally, academically and professionally. Sheriff Baca recounted his visit to Pakistan and paid tributes to the people of the country. He said he was proud in having something akin with the Pakhtuns. Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas, who has just taken charge of his assignment, appeared suave and blend and impressed everyone with his civil disposition.
Local singers, besides the better-known artists, also impressed the gathering with their rendering of popular qawwalis and Madam Noor Jahan’s famous hits. All in all, it was a highly enjoyable Independence Day celebration.


Pictures above: Pakistan Independence Day celebrations at the Whittier Narrows Park

Another Independence Day function was held at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Park at Rosemead Blvd. It was organized by Safeer-e-Pakistan, Council of Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce, Urdu Writers Society Inc., Karachi Club, Chance of Life, Friends of South East Asia, Pakistan Journal, Pakistan Chronicle, South Asian Biz Alliance Network, PAKMD network, Pakistan Arts Council, Pakistan American Association, Pakistan Sheriff Advisory Council, Travel-N-Tours, Scope, Pakistan Veterans, AlShifa, APPNA and SCOR.
The Independence Day celebration, a family-oriented program as the organizers called it turned out to be such, and attracted a large number of community members.
There were an impressive number of booths selling Pakistani clothes, jewelry, and paintings. Several local restaurants provided food; there were other booths advertising their businesses. Complimentary items attracted many mela-goers.


LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gives an award to FOP President Sarfaraz Khan and Qazi Asad. Zafar Abbas is on extreme left
To the delight of the Pakistani-American crowd, Faakhir gives a stunning performance at the Whittier Narrows Park function organized by CPACC et al

Plenty of fun was in store for the kids, including moon jumps and free space to run around and enjoy. Attired in colorful dresses, the kids had a pretty good time. To be sure, they will carry many happy memories of the happy day. So would the community members who thoroughly enjoyed the family-oriented program and were visibly appreciative of the organizers’ efforts.
Fakhir lived up to his reputation: he sang beautifully though he was slightly indisposed. In all, he sang four songs which charged the crowd. First Fakhir stunned the gathering with “Jiya Na Jaye.” He had everyone snapping his or her fingers to “Mahi Ve.” The handsome singer electrified the crowd with two fast numbers “Sub Tho Sohniye” and “Dil Na Lagay” which ignited the Pakistani spirit in everyone.
The Consul General of Pakistan Mr. Ibne Abbas was also present and read out the ambassador’s message. Other guests included Sheriff Lee Baca and Gladwill Gill who was the biggest contributor to the event. Mr. Arif Mansuri, a popular community activist and President of the Council of Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce, who was also the lead organizer, also addressed the gathering.



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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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