Assalam Aleikum. Pakhair Raghley. Welcome everyone.
It is such a pleasure to have you all here to celebrate the Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Day. We are here to celebrate the life of a very special American who was a great friend to Pakistan; a man whose life was tragically taken by violent extremism.
Recent events, such as the terrorist attacks at the Army Public School here in Peshawar, and this week’s attacks in Beirut and Paris, remind us that no one is immune from intolerance and violent extremism. But we have no doubt that our shared humanity, and basic decency, will prevail. Please join me to remember all the victims of these tragic events with a moment of silence.
But tonight, we are here to celebrate Danny Pearl’s belief that music could foster understanding across borders, across cultures, across the world. We know the value of music as a universal language. It encourages fellowship and creates a harmony of care and compassion.
We know that Daniel Pearl lived a life that knew no geographical boundaries, with a spirit that knew no prejudice. As a committed journalist, he, along with so many journalists, gave his life to bring us the truth. We will not forget the many brave journalists who are risking their lives everyday in their pursuit of justice and freedom of the press.
Daniel used the violin and the guitar to form friendships in every community he lived in, especially here in Pakistan. And tonight, our own American officer, Andy Burton, will be playing in the same spirit.
Again, I thank all of you for joining me tonight for this special celebration of friendship and Harmony. Let’s have fun! Let’s rock Peshawar!