Pakistani diplomats and residents in the UAE gathered on Saturday to celebrate the country’s 75th Independence Day.
The Pakistani flag was raised at the country's embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate general in Dubai to mark the occasion.
Officials in both emirates made speeches to celebrate when British colonial rule ended and Pakistan became a sovereign nation on August 14, 1947.
The officials also read messages from Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“This [Independence Day] was a result of political, democratic and constitutional struggle of our forefathers under the able and selfless leadership of [Pakistan's founder] Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” said Afzaal Mahmood, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE.
He thanked the Pakistani community in the Emirates and said they were playing an important role in supporting the national economy and improving ties between the countries.
More than a million Pakistani citizens call the UAE their home.
The Emirates has the world's second-largest Pakistani resident population, behind Saudi Arabia.
“On the government’s part, we would continue to intensify co-operation with the UAE through closer government-to-government and people-to-people contacts,” Mr Mahmood said.
UAE leaders congratulate Pakistan
President Sheikh Khalifa sent a message of congratulations to President Arif Alvi of Pakistan on his country's Independence Day.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, echoed these sentiments in similar messages of support.
Pakistani consul general Hassan Afzal Khan also paid a tribute to Jinnah during a speech in Dubai.
“Our great guide Muhammad Ali Jinnah had envisioned a democratic, tolerant and progressive Pakistan where every citizen in our country will utilise his or her faculties to the fullest and could really benefit from the social economic benefits of the country,” Mr Khan said.
“He strived and stood for the rule of law, and the establishment of our decadent democratic equality. Let us on this day rededicate ourselves to those ideals, and reassess as to what extent we have achieved those goals.
“Undoubtedly, our beautiful country is blessed with every gift of nature. We have all the ingredients to carve out our own destiny, and rise as a successful nation of the world.”
He thanked the UAE government for standing in solidarity with Pakistan “during good and bad times”.
Mr Khan tweeted his congratulations on Independence Day.
He said the country’s focus was on environmental initiatives, reviving the economy and tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have surmounted monumental challenges during the course of our history to emerge as a united, peaceful and resilient nation," he said.
"Even today, the changing regional dynamics, along with some domestic issues, continue to test our resolve. Like each time, we will also overcome these obstacles with our characteristic determination and come out stronger as a nation.
“Pakistan today can stand tall among the comity of nations. Our policies towards reviving the economy, handling the pandemic and protecting the environment have received universal acclaim."