Citizen groups step in as the pro-US government fails to properly celebrate the Year of Friendship. Leaders tout China as an economic and political model and say they want younger Pakistanis to know the nation’s real friends. Speakers include Hateem Soomro, Akram Zaki, Mian Habibullah among others.



Special Report | Saturday | 1 October 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—More than 2,000 young Pakistani boys and girls marched on the streets of Islamabad on Friday to mark China’s National Day and celebrate ties between the peoples of the two countries.

Up to five student bands led the march, joined by several citizens groups focused on improving Sino-Pak ties.

The march was led by former Pakistan Foreign Secretary Mr. Akram Zaki and Mian Habibullah. Both are members of All Pakistan China Friendship Association, or APCFA.

The march, held under the banner, ‘Friends of China Peace and Harmony Walk’ was intended as a salute from the people of Pakistan to the people of China on their National Day. Beijing and Islamabad are marking 2011 as a Friendship Year.

Citizen groups joining the march included the Islamabad Crescent Lions Club (ICLC), DEVCOM-Pakistan, All Pakistan China Friendship Association (APCFA), Sir Syed Memorial Society (SSMS), Saba Trust, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).