The nation is celebrating Pakistan Day today (Thursday) with its renewed commitment to take the country towards transformation into a true Islamic welfare state, in accordance with Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's vision, and to also ensure its prosperity, progress, and a strong defence.
Observed each year since 1940, March 23 commemorates the day when the historic Lahore Resolution was passed, allowing the sub-continent's Muslims to set the agenda for demanding a separate homeland.
The day began with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and 21-gun salute across provincial capitals.
Following the Fajr prayer, specials prayer was also offered in mosques for the country's progress and prosperity.
In their messages for the auspicious occasion, the country's president and prime minister extended their felicitations to the nation.
President Dr Arif Alvi, in his message to the nation, paid tribute to the country's founding fathers whose struggles and sacrifices led to the creation of Pakistan.
"The persecution of minorities, especially the Muslims in India; the rising wave of Hindutva and violence against Muslims; violation of human rights, and brutalities being committed by the Indian Security Forces in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) prove that the Muslim leadership of that time made a prudent decision," he said.
The president added that the day also serves as a reminder to take stock of our successes and failures as a nation.
"We still have a long way to go to ensure the rule of law, strengthen democracy, reduce inequalities in our society, empower women, provide the rights of persons with disabilities, eradicate terrorism and extremism, ensure the political and economic stability of the country, and protect the human rights of our citizens," the president said in his message.
He added that the country possesses the ability to overcome the challenges faced today.
"If we continue to work with unity, faith and discipline, we would be able to make Pakistan a strong and prosperous country. May Allah be with us all. Ameen!" he concluded.
PM Shehbaz Sharif said March 23 is an "epoch-making day" in Pakistan's national history which reminds us of our past, invites us to ponder over our present state of affairs and inspires us to build a prosperous future.
"This day is also the day to renew our pledge," he said.
He added that the last 75 years of Pakistan's journey has witnessed the nation fight many crises from wars to natural disasters.
"There have been many occasions when we overcame the odds and achieved many milestones. As a member of the international community, Pakistan has played the role of a responsible nation in the resolution of problems facing humanity and the establishment of global peace," PM Shehbaz stated.
He further stated that as the nation celebrates Pakistan Day today and pay tribute to the sacrifices of our founding-fathers, it should not lose sight of the challenges staring them in the face.
"The challenges are topped by a combination of economic instability and the inability to settle the rules of the game. An environment of political chaos explains why we have failed to develop our economy on a sustainable basis," the premier asserted, adding that Pakistan came into being as a result of political and constitutional struggle and its future lies in adhering to the constitution in its letter and spirit.
"I have no doubt that Pakistan is destined to achieve great heights. However, for this to become a reality, we have to forge unity in our ranks, equip ourselves with national purpose and vow to wage a struggle in line with the legacy of our forefathers. Let us use this day to introspect and hold ourselves to account," PM Shehbaz said urging the nation.
He asserted that only those nations can achieve true glory which are capable of analysing their past, learning from their mistakes and making amends.
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