As the clock struck midnight to usher in the 68th Independence Day of Pakistan, the chief executive of the country stood before the Parliament House in Islamabad and vowed that there will be no compromise on the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law and continuation of democracy in the country, Express News reported.
Reading out his Independence Day message, the Prime Minister, while admitting that they had fallen short of living up to the Quaid’s ideal, said that they should redeem the pledge to “build Quaid’s Pakistan.”
“We should not forget that Pakistan was the culmination of a long and arduous constitutional struggle. It was made possible only because millions of Muslims exercised the oldest, most basic democratic right – the right to vote for their own future,” he added.
To do this, Nawaz said that the nation “must first reclaim our country from the forces of darkness and obscurantism,” adding that operation Zarb-e-Azb was a step in that direction.
“It was a step taken with great caution, even reluctance, and only after every other option had been exhausted, he added.
Nawaz said that the operation Zarb-e-Azb was not simply a campaign to restore the state’s writ to North Waziristan, which had become a breeding ground for terrorism and extremism, it was a battle for the soul of Pakistan.
At this juncture, the Prime Minister said it was the duty of every patriotic Pakistani to stand behind the armed forces as they fight to keep Quaid’s Pakistan alive. But he warned that this was not the time to sow doubt and confusion as the stakes were simply too high.
Nawaz said that the need of the hour was for unflinching resolve and absolute unity as it was the only language our enemies understand.
“I have no doubt that the people and armed forces of Pakistan will prevail in this struggle. And our victory would bring Pakistan the peace and stability which is a precondition for growth and development.”
Nawaz paid tribute to the sacrifices made by those forced to leave their homes as a result of the operations. He vowed that they will be repatriated as soon as security is returned to those areas.
“Pakistan is a peaceful country, we are struggling to achieve peace with in our country as well as on our borders. We wish for the cordial relations with other countries based on mutual respect, especially with our neighbours.”
Nawaz said that improving relations with neighbouring countries is the focal point of Pakistan’s foreign policy. “We want a peaceful solution to the Kashmir conflict, so Pakistan and India could improve their relations.”
“We also want stable and durable solution in Afghanistan, so the whole region can prosper.”
He said that while safeguarding independence, the country should have moved forward on the path of progress and prosperity but unfortunately our attention was distracted.
The prime minister urged people to express their resolve on the Independence Day not to compromise on supremacy of the constitution, rule of law and continuation of democracy in the country.
A special parade of armed forces and a fly-past ceremony, which used to be a permanent feature in the past, is scheduled to be held in front of the Parliament house in Islamabad, Radio Pakistan reported.
Prime Minister Nawaz, who is the chief guest, arrived at the event where he was greeted by Chief Of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Chiefs of all the tri-services, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff committee. Members of the Cabinet, and the elected assemblies were also in attendance.
A contingent of soldiers present a guard of honour to the prime minister.
On the occasion, fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and helicopters are expected to participate in the fly-past.
The ceremony is being staged after a gap of three years.
Although the parade ceremony continued to be held at Pakistan Military Academy Kakul each year, this year it was decided that the civilian and military leadership will jointly organise the event in front of Parliament.