Guests from all over Pakistan gathered in Lahore to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 87th birthday. Around 600 people attended the celebrations, including representatives from the Caretaker Government of Punjab, political parties, the military, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society, the local media and business in Punjab.
The British High Commissioner, His Excellency Adam Thomson, and the Chief Guest, caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Najam Sethi cut a cake to mark the occasion. The British High Commissioner and the Chief Guest also toasted their respective Heads of State.
The Queen’s Birthday celebrations are an important occasion for the UK, Pakistan and the other Commonwealth countries. 2013 marks the 61th anniversary of when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II became both the British Sovereign and the Head of the Commonwealth.
This year Her Majesty the Queen also signed a formal ‘Commonwealth Charter’ of core values of democracy, rule of law, good governance and similar legal systems, agreed for the first time by all Commonwealth countries.
Speaking on the occasion of Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, His Excellency Adam Thomson, said:
The Queen’s birthday is an occasion to reflect on the close ties between the UK and Pakistan. Pakistan came into being only shortly before Her Majesty became Queen and the enduring partnership between Pakistan and the UK has taken shape during her reign. It is a partnership that is set to become more important as we continue to work together for the mutual prosperity and security of both our countries.
“This year is particularly important as the upcoming elections are a crucial milestone in Pakistan’s democratic history - the first time in decades that there will have been a democratic transfer of power between one civilian government and another. As a fellow Commonwealth country and friend of Pakistan, we look forward to witnessing elections this year that are credible and acceptable to the Pakistani people and that will bring democratic continuity to this wonderful country.”
“Ahead of her funeral this Wednesday, I also want to remember our loss of Baroness Margaret Thatcher and pay tribute to her great contributions to Britain and the Commonwealth. As our current Prime Minister David Cameron said last week, we have lost a great Prime Minister, a great leader and a great Briton.