CHICAGO: An American documentary maker has urged American travellers to include Pakistan as their tourist destination and experiences the country’s vibrancy and traditional hospitality. Speaking at a Pakistan Day event in Chicago on Thursday, Cynthia Ritchie from Texas, who is currently working on a documentary on Pakistan, said the country has amazing tourist attractions and that she has had the pleasant experience of living and working there.
A large number of Pakistani-American community members participated in the event. Also attending were senior elected officials as well as over twenty Chicago-based Consuls General. Special messages marking the Pakistan Day were issued by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Mayor Roger Claar of Bolingbrook.
Pakistan’s Consul General Faisal Niaz Tirmizi spoke on his country’s emerging economy, especially its expanding cement, steel, automobile and banking industries, a fact acknowledged by MSCI while graduating Pakistan from its frontier market to emerging market index. Pakistan, he said, has a middle class of 84 million which was more than the size of Germany or Turkey. Also, Pakistan was among a few countries which had pushed back the tide of extremism and bigotry.
Tirmizi also praised the role of dynamic Pakistani-American community in fostering good bilateral relations between Pakistan and United States. He lauded US$ 15 million endowments gifted by a Pakistani-American couple — Rafat and Zoreen Ansari — to University Notre Dame in Indiana to establish a centre to improve understanding between different religions.
He also lauded the role of prominent Pakistani-Americans like Dr. Jamil Tajik who was the personal physician of former President Ronald Regan, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Hussein of Jordan. He also mentioned Salman Amin, Chief Operating Officer of SC & Johnson and Mehmood Khan, Chief Technical Officer of PepsiCo.
Special messages of President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister were also read out on the occasion. National songs were presented by local Pakistani singers as well as by Todd Shae, an American working in Pakistan.