Shrewsbury resident leads committee to celebrate Pakistan’s independence

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

The Shrewsbury Pakistan Independence Event committee
Courtesy/Rashid Shaikh

Shrewsbury – A Shrewsbury resident is leading efforts to organize a local event to commemorate Pakistan’s independence from the British Raj in 1947.

“August is festivity time for the Pakistani American community,” said Rashid Shaikh, who is also a member of the Pakistan Association of Greater Boston (PAGB) & Humanity Bridge Foundation.

He is overseeing plans for a free, family friendly event to be held on Sunday, Aug. 12, from 3 – 7 p.m. at Dean Park, 805 Main St., Shrewsbury.

The event will feature food cooked on the grill featuring Tikka on Tundoor, Biryani, Pani Puri and much more. There will also be face painting, henna, kids’ activities, cricket, balloons, live music and artisan items for sale.

A local business owner, Shaikh is also a philanthropist and Shrewsbury Town meeting member. He founded Humanity Bridge Foundation (HBF) to bridge the gap between immigrant and local communities.

“We hope this brings the emigrant and local community together and celebrate our combined values and culture.  Let’s meet, great, enjoy international food, music, fun and happiness,” he said. “Spread love, harmony, and message of unity and peace.  Let’s share culture, values, music and love that strengthen humanity and communities.”

Shaikh also noted that Pakistani-American and Indian-American communities are celebrating the recent victory of famed cricketer and humanitarian Imran Khan’s victory to Parliament (he is expected to also become Prime Minister) in Pakistan’s 2018 election held this past July.

“We are using this opportunity to celebrate Pakistan Independence Day which takes place Aug. 14 and Eid ul Adha on Aug. 20,” he added.

Pakistan Independence Day commemorates the day when Pakistan achieved independence and was declared a sovereign nation following the end of the British Raj in 1947. Eid al-Adha, also called the “Festival of Sacrifice”, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year and considered the holier of the two. (The other holy day, Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.)

Other event collaborators and contributors include Value Max, Ansari Builders, Punjabi Grill and Man-O-Salwa.

While the event is free, organizers require that those interested in attending must register on-line by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pakistan-independence-day-and-new-england-eid-mela-tickets-48580497576?aff=ehomecard#tickets.