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America Welcomes President Ayub (1961)
Gordon Wilkison
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  • Highlights
    Ayub Khan at the Alamo in San Antonio
    LBJ entertains Ayub Khan at the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall
  • Transcript
    July 11th, 1961
    Trumpets herald the arrival in Washington of the Pakistani jetliner bearing Pakistani President Ayub Khan.
    First to great President Ayub is American President John F. Kennedy.
    With president Ayub is his lovely daughter, Begum Aurangzeb. The two presidents are joined by American Secretary of State Dean Rusk and other dignitaries.
    Mrs. Kennedy and Begum Aurangzeb exchange greetings.
    President Ayub makes his way along the reception line, while President Kennedy greets each member of the visiting Pakistani party.
    Prominent among them are Pakistan's Minister of External Affairs Manzur Qadir and Minister of Finance Muhammad Shoaib.
    It is a great pleasure and great honor for me to welcome our distinguished visitor, the President of Pakistan. We are glad to have you here, because you come as the head of an important and powerful country which is allied with us in SEATO, which is associated with us in CENTO, which represents a powerful force for freedom in your area of the world.
    I am overwhelmed by the warmth of reception Mr. President, you have given me, and very kind words you have expressed about my country and its relationship with your country.
    I am looking forward to having the opportunity of exchanging views with you and I have no doubt that our area of understanding will enlarge as a result of it and our friendship will get stronger.
    Full military honors are paid to President Ayub, World War II veteran of the Burma front, and the former commander of his country's armed forces.
    In Mr. Kennedy's new presidential limousine, the two presidents acknowledge the cheers of the crowds.
    The end of the parade finds the presidential party at the Blair House, the President's official guest house where the distinguished visitor will stay for the first three days of his eight day visit in the United States.
    A few miles up the Potomac River from Washington is Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
    President Ayub and his daughter are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy at state dinner there. It is the first time a state dinner is held at this historic shrine.
    The sixteen mile trip provides lovely views of the natural beauties along the banks of the Potomac.
    A winding road leads up to the house which is at the top of a steep hill overlooking the river.
    Many guests are awaiting President Ayub and President Kennedy. Among them are some of the chief diplomatic and political figures of the United States.
    As part of the opening ceremony, a small bronze bust of George Washington is presented to the Pakistani leader.
    As a special entertainment, a military pageant of colonial times is enacted.
    A platoon of soldiers, dressed in the period of the American Revolution, performs a drill. A fife and drum corps furnishes music of nearly two centuries ago.
    The state dinner takes place outdoors, on George Washington's favorite sweep of lawn, overlooking the river. President Ayub described the canopy, specially constructed for the occasion, as an American shamiana.
    At the dinner President Kennedy, speaking for all Americans, says that no one could be a more welcome guest than President Ayub.
    The following day, President Ayub goes to fulfill one of the primary purposes of his trip to the United States, to exchange views with President Kennedy and to become personally acquainted with him.
    Before an unusually large representation of the international press, President Ayub confers with President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson.
    They stress the need of the nations of the free world to attain unity in order to promote international peace and insure national security.
    In response to a special invitation, President Ayub is on his way to address a joint session of the Congress of the United States. The two houses will convene together as a single honor to the visiting head of state.
    I regard it as a great privilege to have been given the opportunity to address this august body, the most powerful, and the most distinguished representative institution in the world. I come from Pakistan.
    In his address, President Ayub reviews the grave problems which face his country. He tells the representatives of the American people that if Pakistan is to retain its dearly loved freedom, it must modernize its education, its agriculture and its industry.
    He acknowledges the great value of American assistance to Pakistan and states that his country takes a keen interest in the way things go in the United States.
    Ending his address, he expresses his confidence that the friendship between Pakistan and the United States will continue to grow in strength.
    Washington's Islamic Center and Mosque is one of the many beautiful religious centers in the nation's capital.
    President Ayub arrives to visit this place of worship for Washington's Muslims.
    In the courtyard the President observes a fountain, which is a replica of on in the Alhambra in Spain.
    The visitor is guided through the mosque by its director, Dr. Mahmoud Hoballah.The visitor is guided through the mosque by its director, Dr. Mahmoud Hoballah.
    President Ayub is pleased to visit this great center in America for research on Islam.
    The Embassy of Pakistan is the scene of a meeting between President Ayub and Pakistani residents of Washington.
    Speaking to students among them, the President stresses the importance of their coming to the United States to study.
    He adds that on their return home, he trusts that they will put their knowledge at the service of their country.
    The National Press Club is a meeting place of some of the world's most influential newsmen. By special invitation, President Ayub comes to speak before them.
    Mr. President, gentlemen, I feel rightly honored to have been given the opportunity to come to this world famous institution and to have the opportunity to see you gentlemen. I'm most impressed by the number of intelligent faces I see all around me.
    After his remarks, President Ayub invites the questions of the reporters. In answer to one question, he states that the goal of his government's domestic program is the unification of his people with common values and its strong national purpose.
    The newsmen respond warmly to the outspoken and candid answers of the Pakistani leader.
    That evening, President Ayub gives a gala reception and banquet in honor of President and Mrs. Kennedy.
    Begum Aurangzeb and Mrs. Kennedy arrive together, followed President Ayub and President Kennedy.
    Former President Eisenhower and Mrs. Eisenhower are also guests. Prominent at all the official functions are Ambassadors Aziz Ahmed of Pakistan and William Roundtree of the United States.
    As the reception line is being formed, the host makes sure that his guests all talk to each other and that everyone enjoys himself.
    Washington's most brilliant political and diplomatic figures are President Ayub's guests. This glittering gala is a fitting climax to his Washington visit.
    Next morning the President and his daughter leave Washington for New York City. New York City, America's largest metropolis, city of skyscrapers, home of 8 million people, site of the headquarters of the United Nations.
    The welcome traditionally reserved by the city for its most distinguished visitors is a ticker-tape parade.
    Tons of confetti and festoons of paper ribbons are showered on President Ayub as he makes his way up the thronged thoroughfare.
    The turnout is large and enthusiastic as thousands of New Yorkers proud to welcome a man who has proved himself the champion of a free people.
    In quieter surroundings, President Ayub attends a reception given in his honor by New York Mayor Robert Wagner.
    The garden of the mayor's residence is filled with people who have come to greet the President. A young pretty New Yorker presents the visitor with a symbol of the city's friendship.
    Among the fortunate people to have the opportunity of meeting the President are diplomats, New York political leaders, and distinguished private citizens.
    Leaving New York City, the President flies to San Antonio, Texas.
    The Alamo is known across the country as the cradle of liberty in the Southwestern United States. There, a handful of men, lead by the legendary Davy Crockett, held off a large invading army.
    As everywhere in America, a large crowd welcomes President Ayub.
    Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, a native of the region, accompanies President Ayub on his tour.
    From San Antonio, they go to the Vice President's ranch, where everything has been prepared to welcome the President. He and Begum Aurangzeb are to be weekend guests there.
    An old fashioned Texas barbeque has been laid out for the visitor. This is a help yourself occasion with everyone taking as much or as little has he wants.
    50 Pakistani students are guests at the ranch. The informality makes it possible for them to talk to the President about their studies.
    The President is not familiar with the tin cup from which coffee is traditionally drunk at these affairs.
    A band of singers in Mexican dress provides entertainment for the guests. Mexican culture is very much a part of life in Texas and the American southwest.
    The state capital at Austin is President Ayub's next stop. There, he will address a session of both houses of the Texas State Legislature, specially convened in his honor.
    Taking leave of Texas, the President flies back to New York.
    In New York, the United Nations prepares to welcome one of its staunchest supporters.
    President Ayub is warmly greeted by United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, who is holding a dinner in honor of his distinguished guest.
    Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, Syed Hassan, accompanies the President.
    The President and the Secretary General take advantage of their meeting to hear each other's views on many questions of international importance. They conclude that Pakistan's continued cooperation in the United Nations will result in immense mutual benefit.
    Next morning, everything is in readiness for President Ayub's departure.
    Great numbers of reporters have followed him to the airport, hoping to get one last statement to the press. President Ayub has become favorite of American newspapermen, impressing them with his willingness to give forthright answers to their questions.
    President Ayub has become favorite of American newspapermen, impressing them with his willingness to give forthright answers to their questions.
    The distinguished visitor hears a word of farewell from the New York policemen who escorted him to the airport. He tells reporters he is struck by the warmth and spontaneity with which the American people welcomed him whereever he went.
    As he returns to his country, President Ayub leaves a people impressed by his force and loyalty, and a nation convinced of the solid friendship between the United States and Pakistan.