Islamabad - The Indonesian embassy Friday celebrated the country’s 72nd Independence Day.

The day is celebrated every year by the Indonesians as it commemorates the day, when after many years of subjugation, Indonesia gained its Independence.

“Indeed, in the chronicles of history, August 17, 1945 will always be remembered as a day of an extraordinary accomplishment which Indonesia won with unparalleled fortitude and sacrifices,” said a statement released by the embassy here.

To celebrate the day here, Indonesian ambassador to Pakistan Iwan S Amri and his wife Rita Berlinia Amri hosted a reception at a local hotel yesterday.

The venue was beautifully decorated with flowers, artifacts and umbrellas arrangements creating the unique Indonesian ambience. The reception was very well attended as the government dignitaries, diplomats, Pakistani military officers, businesspersons, politicians and representatives from across the civil society were present to celebrate and congratulate the hosts on the auspicious occasion.

Muhammad Balighur Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training was the chief guest on the occasion who on behalf of the people and government of Pakistan congratulated the ambassador on the auspicious day.

The Minister and the Ambassador noted with satisfaction that Indonesia and Pakistan were committed to bolster cooperation in various venues to further expand existing excellent bilateral relations.

They underlined the importance of close ties and enhancing people-to-people networks and all-around cooperation to further strengthen the fraternal bond between the two nations.

The official program started off with the singing of the national anthems of both the countries in chorus by a group of Indonesian students before the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia and the Chief Guest joined by the ASEAN Heads of Missions performed the cake cutting to mark the day.

Iwan S Amir in his remarks on the occasion said that Indonesia was the most populous country with a Muslim majority and had transformed into a vibrant third largest democracy in the world.

He said that Indonesia with 1,340 ethnic groups, 1,211 local languages and 17,504 islands is spread out over 3000 km area.  The envoy said that with such great size and diversity the real strength and unity of over 250 million people lies in the national slogan of “Unity in Diversity” that provides foundation and ideology for peace, harmony and equality in the country. 

He said that Indonesia has witnessed remarkable social, political and economic change in recent years. It made important progress towards its Millennium Development Goals, graduated to a Middle Income Country status and was welcomed to the fold of the G20, he added.

The envoy elaborated that Indonesia as an emerging economy market was the largest economy in Southeast Asia with a Gross domestic product of almost one trillion dollars with above 5 per cent annual growth rate. 

The ambassador said that Indonesia within two years has climbed from 114 to 72 in the Ease of Doing Business Index. 

Ambassador Amri paid rich tributes to President Soekarno and Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for laying the strong foundation of the diplomatic ties between the two nations following Pakistan independence in 1947.

He said that both countries have come a long way and attach great importance to their bilateral ties. He also shared some recent but significant achievements in the ambit of bilateral ties and satisfyingly said that the bilateral trade volume between the two countries had increased by 8.9 per cent from $1.6 billion in 2012 to $2.1 billion in 2016.

He also highlighted the cooperation that the two countries are enhancing in Political, Defence cooperation , education and tourism spheres. He informed that visa requirements have been relaxed for the Pakistani citizens to promote stronger people to people contacts.

The reception featured an exclusive cultural show of Balinese dances and costumes. Balinese dances are characterized by intricate finger movements, complicated footwork, and expressive gestures and facial expressions.

The enthralling performances of Legon Kraton Dance and Wiranata dance introduced the guests some very beautiful and exotic culture, elegant and highly stylized dances with rich music and the exquisite epic costumes form the Indonesian island of Bali.

The reception not only celebrated the Indonesian anniversary of the independence but its diversity, food and culture.