ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Saturday asserted Pakistan is a reality and India will have to accept that.
Addressing the Pakistan Day joint military parade in Islamabad, the president congratulated the nation and said, “March 23 is that milestone of our national history in which Muslims of the subcontinent aimed for their liberation through Pakistan Resolution.”
“Independence demands sacrifices. We suffered loss of lives and finances in the War on Terror but today Pakistan is an upcoming economy,” Dr Alvi said.
President Alvi said Pakistan’s “sovereignty had been challenged in the past and wars were imposed on us” but the nation fought back.
“Pakistan respects sovereignty of all countries’ sovereignty and wishes peace but our desire for peace should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness,” he asserted.
Speaking about the recent escalation in tensions between the two countries, the president said, “Pakistan is a reality and India should accept facts and not make the mistake to view it in the pre-partition light. Doing so would be very dangerous for the region’s stability.”
“Instead of wars, we should focus on providing health, education and employment. Our real war is against unemployment and poverty.”
Dr Alvi added, “Responding to Indian aggression was our right. Through our plan of action we responded to India immediately and effectively,” he added.
“We responded to the enemy befittingly,” he reiterated. The president stated, “Being a democratic nation, Pakistan believes in dialogue.”
“India’s attitude was irresponsible,” he regretted. “After the Pulwama attack, India blamed Pakistan without any evidence. India did not adhere to international laws and violated Pakistan’s airspace.”
President Alvi asserted, “We are a peaceful nation but know how to defend ourselves.”
“Terrorism is the biggest threat the peace in the world. Peace in Afghanistan is necessary for everlasting peace in Pakistan,” he added.
The president further said participation of the representatives of Pakistan’s friendly countries including Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Sri Lanka has added valour to today’s military parade and this signifies our friendship with these countries.
PM, president’s messages
President Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan in separate messages on Pakistan Day stressed the “need to achieve the goal of true Islamic welfare state as envisaged by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah”.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government is determined to establish a society where every person can contribute towards socio-economic development to the best of his ability.
The premier said that on the National Day “we should not forget Kashmiri people who have long been victims of Indian state terrorism and forced to lead a life of misery”.
President Alvi said that Pakistan has overcome the challenges of extremism and terrorism but acknowledged the country was yet to make efforts for excelling on social and economic fronts.
Pakistan Day is observed on March 23 every year to commemorate the passage of Lahore Resolution on this day, in 1940, when the Muslims of the subcontinent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.