- Says it will be a step towards ‘Charter of Economy’
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday called upon all departments and political parties to hold a national dialogue in a bid to resolve the economic woes of Pakistan and amend mistakes made in the past.
Addressing a ceremony to mark the Independence Day of Pakistan at the Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad, he stressed that the national dialogue would be the first step towards a Charter of Democracy.
“On this Independence Day, we have resolved to turn Pakistan into an economic powerhouse of the world,” he said. “The government now targets to place the country among top economies of the world.”
He questioned that if Pakistan could become a nuclear power against all odds then why not a global economic power?
“To achieve this, we have to prove that we can compete with every other nation of the world,” he said. Terming the public of Pakistan an asset, he emphasised that the people had to take the country forward and promised provision of all support and resources from the government.
The youth is priority of the government, PM Shehbaz said, citing that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah preached unity and discipline among the younger generation.
“I want to tell the youth that if we have to attain economic self-sufficiency, then we have to work hand-in-hand and in unity with each other,” he said. “We will leave no stone unturned to make heinous efforts of our enemies unsuccessful.”
He congratulated all Pakistanis in the world for 75th anniversary of the creation of the country and appreciated their contribution in development and uplift of Pakistan.
He added that Pakistan managed to prosper over the past 75 years “but the pace of growth has been slow.”
“Pakistan was bestowed upon us with a mission to embed the values of Quaid-e-Azam in every department of the country,” he said. “The first phase of the mission was completed when Pakistan was formed in 1947 but the second phase, where the values of Jinnah are adopted, remains incomplete.”
He paid tribute to former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto for kick starting the nuclear programme of Pakistan and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for completing it.
“The people and institutions who worked to make this dream a reality are a supporting pillar for the country,” he said.
PM Shehbaz prayed that Muslims in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and Palestine attain freedom soon.
According to him, when people unite for a vision, then no power can stop them. He recalled that the Muslims of subcontinent fought against colonial forces with bravery and steadfastness.
“Some were killed while others migrated to new homeland and lost their loved ones,” he explained. “Due to their sacrifices, we were able to escape the slavery of colonial forces.”
He also remembered the minorities who worked for the creation of Pakistan.
He quoted Quaid-e-Azam’s words “that all minorities have freedom to practise their religion in Pakistan.”
As per Quaid-e-Azam’s vision, constitution, democracy and law were supreme forces for this nation, he said.
He also paid special tribute to Abdul Sattar Edhi and Dr Ruth Pfao, saying that “without them, the history of Pakistan is incomplete.”
The premier also stated that relentless rains were wreaking havoc all over the country, especially in Balochistan where hundreds of people lost their lives.
He prayed for the deceased and quick recovery for injured.
Independence Day messages
Meanwhile, in a message, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto said “on this auspicious occasion, we honour the indefatigable and extraordinary efforts of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his companions that led to the creation of Pakistan, our independent homeland.”
He paid tribute to the sacrifices rendered by forefathers in the freedom struggle.
It is also an occasion to celebrate our endeavors of the past 75 years, an occasion to celebrate our people, our progress, our youth, our art, culture, our sportsmen and women and much more, he said.
“The journey of the past 75 years has seen ups and downs. Pakistan has battled against odds both at external as well as internal fronts,” Bilawal said. “However, we have always overcome these challenges with resilience and perseverance.”
In a tweet, he said Pakistan stands tall as the amalgamation of both ancient and modern. While preserving our historical identity, we are a nation with our eyes on the future.
Former finance minister Asad Umar also wished Independence Day to all citizens.
“The country, which the enemies used to say would end in 6 months, is celebrating its 75th birthday,” he tweeted. “Pakistanis have shown by doing what the world used to say they cannot do. In the coming days, God willing, we will emerge as a great nation.”
Former minister for human rights Shireen Mazari said, “let us remember some important words of our founder Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah which should be our guide to build a truly sovereign democratic Pakistan not bowing before anyone except Allah.”
She stressed that the path was difficult but Pakistanis would fight and succeed in getting “Haqeeqi Azadi.”