Pakistani Community in Australia participated in the ANZAC Day’s Commemoration ceremonies on Monday 25 April 2016.
Community members paraded along with the rest of the participating groups in Canberra, Perth and Gurya, NSW.
In Canberra, Pakistani delegation of 30 including women and children marched along the ANZAC Parade under the leadership of Dr Tariq Rana and Mr Mohammed Ali waving Australian and Pakistani flags.
Thousands of Canberrans who were lined up along the ANZAC Parade walkway also cheered and appreciated the participation of Pakistani delegation for the first ever time in the history of ANZAC parade in Canberra.
In Perth, a floral wreath was laid by members of Pakistani community under the leadership of Dr Zarrin Siddiqui, who is a very active community member.
In Guyra, NSW, Pakistani participation was ensured by the prominent Pakistani Australian, Retired Brigadier Zahoor Ahmad, who was Defence Attaché of Pakistan in Australia in the past. Brigadier Zahoor along with his family laid floral wreath and marched along the procession expressing solidarity with the ANZACs.
Not many know that the only non- ANZAC units to land at ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli, Turkey, some 101 years ago, were two batteries of mountain artillery from the then British Army of combined India. Post partition one battery remained in the Indian Army, one became part of the Pakistani Army. Both batteries took heavy casualties supporting the ANZACs.
After the Conclusion of the ceremony in Canberra current Defence Attaché of Pakistan Brigadier Muhammad Asghar said that he felt honoured by the participation of the Pakistani community.
“They (Pakistanis) were there to pay respect to those who laid down their lives in Gallipoli, and to the excellence of bravery, comradeship and devotion to the duty”, he further added.
Pakistani soldiers participation in Gallipoli is a proof of much deeper and historical relations between Pakistan and Australia. In more recent years these relationships have mutually increased in the areas of National security, Defence, Education and Agriculture.
Both Dr Tariq Rana and Mohammed Ali thanked Brigadier Muhammad Asghar for his key role in enrolling the Pakistani delegation in this year’s parade and providing much needed information and support. Sincere thanks are also due to Pakistani High Commissioner Excellency Naela Chohan who witnessed the parade along with other invited distinguished guests.
Now that Pakistanis in Canberra and other cities of Australia have started their participation in ANZAC, there is need to continue this participation in the coming years. This will provide a way to express solidarity as well as remember all those soldiers who lost their lives in that war. The participation will further strengthen diversity to the ANZAC Day’s commemoration.