LAHORE: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said the security forces have rendered remarkable sacrifices in the fight against extremism and proved that it is not easy to defeat a nation which rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
He said Pakistan was passing through a difficult phase of its history and facing the most important challenge of terrorism and extremism.
He said terrorism and extremism would be defeated with unity and cohesion and the government would make an example of terrorists.
He said Pakistan is a nuclear state and no power in the world could cause any harm to it.
Addressing the launching ceremony of construction work at the Aiwan-i-Quaid-i-Azam here on Saturday, the PM said Pakistan is not only a piece of land but, in fact, an ideology, based on the Two-Nation Theory.
Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and others also spoke on the occasion.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also attended the ceremony. However, he could not address the participants as he had to leave the function before its concluding session to depart for Badin in Sindh, where he was scheduled to attend another function.
The PM, who had already provided Rs200 million for the construction of Aiwan-i-Quaid-i-Azam, announced another Rs50 million for setting up a university in the Aiwan-e-Quaid.
Quoting Stanley Wolpert, a US historian, the PM said: “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Few still modify the map of the world. Hardly one can be credited with creating a nation state, Mohammed Ali Jinnah did all three.”
The prime minister also gave away shields to workers of the Pakistan Movement.
Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on the occasion that government was working to establish Pakistan according to the sayings of the Quaid-e-Azam.
Later, addressing the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual achievement awards ceremony at the Lahore Expo Centre, PM Gilani said economy was recovering and the government did not borrow even a single penny from the banks in the first month of the fiscal year 2011-12.
Federal Minister for Commerce and Trade Makhdoom Amin Fahim also accompanied the PM.
Gilani said exports for the month of July 2011-12 were recorded at $203 million, registering an increase of 27 percent compared to the last year when Rs105 billion tax was collected, showing an increase of 26 percent and $1.1 billion remittances, received from overseas Pakistanis also gained by 35 percent form correspondent period.
The PM also said that government would take up water issues with India in line with the relevant water pacts. He vowed that the government would not allow Indian water aggression against Pakistan and use Pakistani water.
About the energy crisis, Gilani said a committee had been formed to give its recommendations for small and big dams, and alternative energy resources.
He said instructions would be issued to Railways to expedite building Sheikhupura Dry Port.
LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik, addressing the function, stressed the need for consistency in export related policies.
The prime minister also distributed awards among the winners. The Prime Minister of Pakistan trophy award was given to Christan Albac of Telenor Pakistan, Gold Medal to Shehryar Ali Malik, Businessman of the Year Gold Medal 2011 to Mian Tariq Nisar, Iftikhar Hussain, and Khwaja Khawar Rashid. Woman Achievement Award 2011 was given to Rifatun Nisa.
Achievement awards were given to Abdul Basit, Asif Khan, Tahir Rehman, Syed Amir Raza, Tariq Minhas, Ziauddin Sheikh, Syed Sameen Aslam, Muhammad Tariq, Shahid Lal, Khwaja Shahzeb Akram, Mian Shahjahan, Mian Mohammad Saeed, Yasir Anwar, and Mohammad Bashir while special Research Award (Engineering) was given to Professor of Civil Engineering Department (UET) Dr Zahid Ahmad Siddiqui.
Online adds: The prime minister said India has been convinced through dialogues to give Pakistan its full water share, adding that Pakistan would never allow anyone to usurp its rights.
He said Quaid-e-Azam was the supporter of social justice and wished for a Pakistan in which there would be no discrimination. On one occasion, Jinnah said clearly said Pakistan is a country of the poor that came into being due to sacrifices of the poor, added the prime minister.