ISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR: President Dr Arif Alvi Saturday urged the international community to take notice of the ongoing Indian atrocities and gross human rights violations in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).
The president said that the Pakistani nation had always faced challenges and hardships with unmatched sacrifices, unity and determination, and on the basis of intellectual capabilities, it was fast emerging as one of the most successful nations in the world.
Addressing a national flag hoisting ceremony arranged 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 the course for the destination ahead,” he added.
The ceremony was attended by Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaisar, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Begum Samina Alvi, high civil and military authorities, parliamentarians, notable personalities, students and media persons.
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-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Dilating upon the various significant historic moments in the history of Pakistan, he said in the past, three wars were imposed upon the country and now India was spreading false propaganda against Pakistan.
India conducted nuclear tests in 1974, but within seven years, Pakistan 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 technology after meeting its agricultural requirements. “Whether it was earthquake during 2005, floods of 2010 or COVID-19 pandemic, the nation proved its mettle. Pakistan is transforming into a digital country with a thriving knowledge-based economy,” he added.
The president said after Afghan situation, Pakistan faced the menace of terrorism but it defeated it. Different superpowers failed to overcome this challenge.
Paying rich tributes to the sacrifices of law enforcement and security personnel and the nation, he said about 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 though different countries, assuming themselves as human rights champions, let the refugees 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 endeavour 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 was provided to 15 million poor and deserving families under the government's social flagship Ehsaas programme. About Rs400 to Rs450 billion worth of housing projects were in the pipeline with extension of loaning facilities to the people to construct their houses, he said.
The country’s exports surged with record $30 billion remittances and huge tax collection, Pakistan Stock Exchange also broke the previous records, he added.
About grave situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), 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 IIOJ&K 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.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had rightly advocated that such tactics were leading to genocide of Muslims, he added. The president regretted that the prime minister’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 the confidence that all the groups in the neighbouring country would take inference from the Islamic teachings in reaching to an agreement and peaceful settlement of their issue.
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.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his Independence Day message Saturday, said that Pakistan had surmounted monumental challenges during the course of its history to emerge as a united, peaceful and resilient nation.
“Even today, the changing regional dynamics along with some domestic issues continue to test our resolve. Like each time, we will also overcome these obstacles with our characteristic determination and come out stronger as a nation,” he maintained, reported a private news channel.
He has once again reiterated Pakistan’s commitment for stability in Afghanistan and said the country had rendered immense sacrifices and paid a heavy price for instability on its Western border.
“We have consistently stressed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Pakistan will continue to support a negotiated political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he added.
The prime minister said, “We want peace within and peace outside, to pursue our socio-economic agenda. Naya Pakistan has shifted its focus from geo-politics to geo-economics, with the well-being and welfare of our people as the topmost priority.”
The PM stated that with the universal recognition of the government’s policies towards the revival of the economy, handling of COVID-19 pandemic and environment protection, Pakistan today can stand tall among the comity of nations. “Our policies towards reviving the economy, handling the pandemic, and protecting the environment have received universal acclaim,” the prime minister said. “As we hoist our national flag to mark Independence Day, we must reiterate the firm resolve to uphold our national values of unity, faith and discipline as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he added.
“Our government has undertaken every possible effort for the development and prosperity of Pakistan,” he added. “This country is undoubtedly a gift of Allah Almighty for us. I once again felicitate all Pakistanis, both inland and overseas, on this auspicious occasion. I urge you to play your part in making Pakistan a proud, prosperous and peaceful nation-state,” the prime minister maintained.
The premier further said that “On this occasion, we should not forget our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) struggling for their right to self-determination under extremely adverse circumstances marked by illegal Indian occupation and unspeakable repression.”
“Pakistan will continue to extend its full support to the Kashmiris in their just cause. Kashmiris are looking up to the international community to fulfil the promises made to them,” he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday urged the youth to develop three characteristics of ‘truth, justice and valour’ as enunciated by Allama Muhammad Iqbal in his poetry.
The prime minister posted his message on his twitter handle as the nation was celebrating the 75th Independence Day.” My message on Independence Day especially for our youth. These three characteristics - truth, justice and valour - transform ordinary human beings into great ones,” the prime minister said in a tweet.
He also quoted a couplet from the topic ‘Tulu-e-Islam’ in Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s famous poetic collection Bang-e-Dara.
“Read again the lesson of truth, of justice and valour! You will be asked to perform the task of leading the whole world,” the English translation said.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani nation celebrated 75th Independence Day Saturday with traditional zeal and enthusiasm with special activities to highlight the struggle of our forefathers and national heroes for acquiring a separate homeland.
The day dawned with special prayers and a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and a 21-gun salute at all provincial capitals. Special prayers were offered in mosques at dawn for peace, solidarity, and prosperity of the country.
Different public and private departments held special functions and activities including seminars, discussion programmes, photographic exhibitions, painting, poetry, national songs, and debate competitions with the focus on acknowledging the contributions of leaders of the Pakistan Movement and sacrifices of national heroes.
Meanwhile, a change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi Saturday.
A smartly turned out contingent of the cadets from the Pakistan Naval Academy assumed ceremonial guard duties at the mausoleum with traditional spirit and customary enthusiasm. Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy Commodore Sohail Ahmed was the chief guest of the ceremony. He also laid a floral wreath at the mausoleum and offered Fateha.
In Lahore, a graceful change of guard ceremony was also held at the mausoleum of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal in connection with Independence Day. A smartly turned out contingent of the Pakistan Army assumed the guard duties at the Mazar-e-Iqbal.
Like other parts in the country, the residents of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad celebrated 75th Independence Day with traditional zeal and fervor with commemorative ceremonies held all around here on Saturday.
The government has announced a public holiday throughout the country on the occasion. A colourful ‘flag hoisting ceremony’ was held at the Rawalpindi Commissioner Office where a large number of school children participated. Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah was the guest of honour on the occasion. The commissioner distributed awards among students.
Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) also arranged different colorful programs like ‘Husn-e-Qirat’, tableau, dramas, speech competition, paintings etc. The Parks and Horticultural Authority (PHA) also arranged different programmes here at Public Park, Rawalpindi where a large number of citizens participated. The PHA specially decorated ‘Tourists Bus’ with national flags and buntings which was the special source of attraction for visitors.
The bosses of all departments arranged colorful flag hoisting ceremonies here in their offices. Some government and private organisations distributed national flags and badges among children.
Capital Development Authority (CDA) also presented different programmes for celebrating the day.
All streets, roads and residential localities of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad decorated with banners and national flags. Special stalls were set up in the city markets and bazaars for the sale of national flags, green caps and buntings.
People were expressing great enthusiasm for the Independence Day celebrations. Children were taking keen interest in purchase of national flags, badges, stickers and other related items. National flag was being seen flattering on vehicles and bikes all around.
Strict security measures were observed by the law enforcing agencies to avoid any untoward incident. The Rawalpindi and Islamabad police deployed heavy contingents of police at sensitive points. Mobile Reserve police also remained alert while contingents of Rangers and FC patrolled the city roads the whole day. Anti-Terror Squad, Bomb Disposal Squad and Quick Response Force Unit were also on high alert on the occasion.
The people belonging to all age groups, including men, women, youngsters and children, showed keen interest and enthusiasm to celebrate the day with traditional zeal and fervour while the whole city has been giving a bridal look on the occasion.
Same was the situation in Islamabad. National flags could be seen hoisted on the cars, motorcycles, trucks, wagons while the huge-sized flags could also be seen fluttering atop the government and private buildings, houses, markets and shops. Children decorated their cycles and the elders their motorcycles with flags and stickers.
Meanwhile, in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), pro-Pakistan graffiti, posters and banners have come up in the Kashmir Valley on the Independence Day of Pakistan.
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