Islamabad: August 13, 2021

          I wish to share in the happiness of my fellow countrymen on the auspicious occasion of the 74th Independence Day of Pakistan. This day reminds us to pay rich tribute to the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and leaders and workers of the Pakistan Movement who created a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent.

          During this 74 years journey, Pakistan faced many challenges but it successfully overcame them with hard work, sacrifices and the support of the entire nation. Pakistanis are a brilliant and brave nation, that has made tremendous successes in various fields making the country distinguished from other nations. The world must appreciate the fact that Pakistan singularly fought a long-drawn war against terrorism and eventually defeated the menace. Similarly, the development of nuclear deterrence by Pakistan is a great achievement that has made the country’s defence impregnable. Not to forget that Pakistan is a host to millions of Afghan refugees for many decades. Pakistan also won laurels worldwide for successfully handling the Covid-19 pandemic. For this great achievement, I pay homage to doctors and paramedics, religious leaders, media, National Command and Operation Centre, Security Forces and the entire nation whose cooperation made it possible to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We have significantly improved all our macro-economic indicators which are now positively impacting the lives of the masses.

          Despite these achievements, Pakistan is still facing many challenges on social and economic fronts, such as increasing population, lack of health and education facilities, stunted growth, malnutrition and various other diseases. It is encouraging to note that the government has taken certain steps for the empowerment of women and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) by providing them loans and skills to make them financially independent. Additionally, the Government has initiated various social welfare programmes under the flagship “Ehsaas Program” to provide education, health, and financial assistance to the impoverished segments of society. However, we need to make more efforts for the facilitation and welfare of PWDs and the empowerment of women by ensuring the provision of their right to inheritance.

          On this Independence Day, we also reaffirm our commitment to continue our moral, political and diplomatic support to the cause of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. I assure my Kashmiri brethren that Pakistan would continue to stand by them till the achievement of their right to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions. I also urge the international community to play its role to compel India to stop committing human rights abuses against the innocent Muslims of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and fulfil its commitment to grant Kashmiris their right to self-determination.

          Let’s pledge to follow the ideals of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and work for the unity and prosperity of Pakistan. May Allah be with us all. Ameen!

Pakistan Paindabad! *******