RIYADH/JEDDAH: Pakistan Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in Riyadh and Jeddah on Wednesday. Ambassador Manzoor ul Haq hoisted the national flag at a largely attended ceremony that included members of the Pakistani community, officials and well wishers at the Pakistan Embassy in the morning. He read out the messages of President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Haq said Pakistan has made tremendous progress. “It has evolved into a progressive, democratic and moderate welfare state. It has an active Parliament, independent judiciary, vibrant media and active society.” Highlighting the developments in the past three years, he said, “The military operation Zarb-e-Azb has dismantled the network of terrorism and terrorists are on the run now. Also, the economy has shown an upward trend and the country is becoming an attractive destination for foreign investors.” Haq also praised the role of expatriates in the development of Pakistan’s economy and their contribution to the development of Saudi Arabia. “They serve as a bridge of good friendship between the two brotherly countries.” The envoy went on to put on record that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy very strong and fraternal relations, which are based on the aspirations of the people of these two countries. Patriotic songs were also played on the occasion and the morning function concluded with a prayer for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan. In Jeddah, Pakistan Consul General Shehryar Akbar Khan unfurled the country’s flag at a largely attended ceremony. Messages of the President and Prime Minister were read out by Deputy Consul General Sayed Sarwar and Counsel Mohammed Junaid. In another event in Jeddah, the Pakistani ambassador and consul general celebrated the occasion with the guest of honor Adel Abdurrahman Bakhsh, director of protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Makkah region, diplomats from various countries, Saudi dignitaries and prominent members of the Pakistan community at a hotel. The consul general welcomed the guests and thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Saudi government for continued support to the Pakistani community in the Kingdom. He announced that the Pakistan foreign secretary has approved the construction of a new building of the consulate and added that the online appointment system for machine-readable passport will deal with around 300 people after April 10.