The Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Geoffrey Shaw today issued a statement marking Pakistan’s Independence Day. Dr Shaw said: “I join the people and Government of Pakistan in celebrating the occasion of Pakistan Independence Day. Pakistan has continued to strengthen as a nation during its 73 years of independence and Australia has been a steadfast friend throughout this time. As Commonwealth nations, we share many values, including a commitment to democracy and a rules-based order. A hallmark of our bilateral relationship is that we have always stood alongside each other during times of crisis, and this has never been truer than during the global COVID-19 pandemic. With deep admiration, I recognise the resilience and resolve shown by Pakistan in the course of battling this virus. Australia is proud to stand with the people of Pakistan as they continue to build a strong, open and prosperous country. The Pakistani diaspora in Australia goes back to the arrival of Pakistani cameleers in the mid-19th century. Since then, the dynamic Pakistani community has enriched the tapestry of Australia’s multicultural society, including in the fields of science, education, technology, medicine and the arts and through faith-based organisations. I welcome our bilateral cooperation in education, trade, development, defence and security, as well as, our strong sporting and cultural ties. I am confident that our two nations will continue to strengthen our friendship well into the future.