ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Saturday said that Pakistani nation had always overcome challenges and ordeals with unmatched sacrifices, unity and determination, adding that Pakistan could emerge as one of the most successful nations in the world on the basis of its intellectual capabilities.
Addressing a national flag hoisting ceremony held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr to mark Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day, the President said that owing to the string of successes achieved by the nation on different occasions, its future course was very bright and promising.
“Our past, present and future will set course for the destination ahead,” he added.
The President felicitating the nation on the Independence Day, said that Pakistan was created after huge sacrifices and the untiring endeavours of the dynamic leadership of Pakistan Movement led by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The ceremony was attended by Chairman Senate Sajid Sanjrani, Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaisar, Begum Samina Arif Alvi, federal ministers, parliamentarians, high civil and military authorities, notable personalities, students and media.
Dilating upon the various significant historic moments in the history of Pakistan, he said in the past, three wars were imposed upon the country.
India conducted nuclear tests during 1974, but within a few years, Pakistan also developed the nuclear deterrent on the basis of its intellectual capabilities, he added.
He mentioned that Pakistan was also becoming an industrial country and a hub of information and technology after meeting its agricultural requirements.
“Whether it was the earthquake during 2005, floods of 2010 or COVID-19 pandemic, the nation proved its mettle. Pakistan is transforming itself into a digital country with a thriving knowledge-based economy,” he added.
The President said after the war in Afghanistan, Pakistan faced the menace of terrorism but the nation successfully overcame this challenge. Paying rich tributes to the sacrifices of the law enforcement agencies and security personnel and the nation, he said approximately 100,000 human lives were lost in this war with 150$ billion losses to the country’s economy.
Pakistan hosted about 3.5 million Afghan refugees on its soil for decades, he said, adding that though different countries, proclaiming themselves as human rights champions, are not willing to accept the refugees and let them drown.
The President advised the nation not to hark to the negative elements or pay heed to fake news churned out by the enemies of the state, as its course was rightly set.
He said the incumbent government’s endeavours for the achievement of basic principles of Riasat-e-Madina were based upon social justice, provision of health and education facilities, shelter and eradication of poverty.
During the COVID-19, the Prime Minister decided against complete lockdown and on the basis of data, about Rs170 billion amount was provided to 15 million poor and deserving familied under government’s social welfare flagship Ehsaas programme.
About Rs400 to 450 billion worth housing projects were in the pipeline with extension of loan facilities to the people to construct their houses, he said.
The country’s exports surged to record $30 billion, remittances reached $29 billion and tax collection surpassed the targets, Pakistan Stock Exchange also broke all the previous records, he added.
The President stressed upon the nation to fully participate in Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project to reverse the negative impacts of the global warming and the environmental pollution.
About the grave situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the President urged the international community to take notice of the ongoing Indian atrocities and gross human rights violations.
The Indian government was also trying to change the demography of the IIOJK by giving domiciles to non-residents. It wanted to further unleash waves of atrocities against the Kashmiris, but Pakistan was firmly standing in its way, he added.
He said the Indian government under the influence of Hindutva and RSS ideology was targeting the minorities in India especially the Muslims through its Citizenship Act.
The President regretted that the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to India that Pakistan would move two steps forward in response to India’s one step was taken as its weakness.
He observed under such scenario with a bellicose Indian leadership, there was no hope for peace.
About continuing unrest in Afghanistan, the President expressed confidence that all the groups in the neighbouring country would take guidance from the pact of Sulah-e-Hudaibia in reaching an agreement and peaceful settlement of their issues.
Students also presented melodious and popular national songs, kalam from the poetry of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and a live performance of vocalist Sahir Ali Bagga also enthralled the audience.