Pakistan community in Rwanda mark independence

For the first time, the Pakistan community in Rwanda came together to celebrate their country’s most important day known as the ‘Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day’.
(L-R) Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Karim Gahutu and Sheikh Abdul Karim Halerimana were among guests, who attended the Pakistan Day.
(L-R) Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Karim Gahutu and Sheikh Abdul Karim Halerimana were among guests, who attended the Pakistan Day.

For the first time, the Pakistan community in Rwanda came together to celebrate their country’s most important day known as the ‘Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day’.

Close to 100 Pakistanis, gathered at The Manor Hotel in Nyarutarama on Saturday to commemorate March 23, the day that marks the Lahore Resolution of 1940 and the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan.

Also known as the Republic Day, it is one of the biggest national days marked annually in the country. The day is important because it saw Pakistan transform from a dominion into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, adopted on March 23, 1956.

Celebrations in Kigali were marked by a series of activities, including games, music, raffle draws and crowned by a sumptuous dinner of Pakistani delicacies.

Families, friends, relatives and invited guests were treated to Pakistani culture and history.

According to Saeed Alam, the chairperson of the Pakistani community in Rwanda, the need to celebrate the day arose from the fact that the Pakistani community in Rwanda has been growing steadily due to the relations that exist between the two countries.

“The friendship between Rwanda and Pakistan has grown steadily over the years. Many Pakistanis see Rwanda as a friendly country to do business and find the Rwandan people very hospitable.”

“Initially we were a very small group but today we are between 80 and 100. Most of the Pakistanis living in Rwanda are doing business, which tells a lot about Rwanda’s status as a country to do business,” Alam said.

The guest of honour, East African Legislative Assembly member Abdul Karim Helerimana, commended the Pakistani community in Rwanda for being vital contributors to the country’s economy.

He noted that some Pakistan families have lived in Rwanda for more than three decades, an indication that they have made Rwanda their second home.

Twelve-year-old Hassan Ghazali, a Pakistani student at International School of Kigali (ISK) who has been living in Rwanda, for the last four years had this to say:

“I feel very patriotic right now. I feel proud to be from Pakistan. I have lived in Rwanda for four years. Rwanda is a nice, green country with very nice people and great food.”

Lucky winners, who participated in a quiz competition walked away with goodies from Watchoice.

The ultimate prize, courtesy of Satguru Tours, and won by Bilal Moustapha, was a return ticket to a destination of one’s choice between Entebbe, Nairobi or Bujumbura.

Claudine Uwamahoro was the lucky winner of a one month membership subscription at The Manor Spa.

The guests included the Mufti of Rwanda, Abdul Karim Gahutu, Innocent Nkurunziza, who represented the Prime Minister, and former Mufti Saleh Habimana, among others.

After the sumptuous dinner, the guests joined to cut the cake which was dressed with Pakistan flag colours before enjoying the rest of the night with songs and recitals.

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