Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi on Monday trained his guns on India over its "expansionist designs" in South Asia, and said that New Delhi was the "main hurdle" in constructive relations between the two neighbours. Abbasi's remarks came during his Independence Day address in Islamabad. While criticising India's stance on the Kashmir issue, Abbasi hailed the "all-weather" relationship between China and Pakistan. Notably, Chinese vice premier Wang Yang, who arrived in Islamabad on Monday, was the chief guest for the 71st Independence Day celebrations.
Here is the full text of the prime minister's message to the nation on Monday:
The independence that we achieved seventy years ago was an outcome of the unparalleled sacrifices made by our ancestors. Millions of Muslims rendered sacrifices for our as well as the future of the posterity. Today we are treading the path of prosperity and progress in a peaceful and dignified country because of those sacrifices. We are greatly indebted to our ancestors for their sacrifices and we can repay that debt only by making Pakistan a free and independent country.
We may belong to different tribes, fraternities and ethnicities; we may be working in different spheres of national life; our political vision and thinking can be different and our economic vision may have different perspectives but ascendency of national interests and invincible defence are common objectives of the entire nation, for which we have to make collective endeavours.
Quaid-e-Azam had envisioned Pakistan as a modern democratic entity. This dream faces myriad of challenges and the PML (N) government notwithstanding the confronting difficulties has made the realization of Quaid’s dream as its abiding mission. The recent transition of power through a democratic process was quintessential of the accelerated strengthening of democratic values in the country.
We have to strengthen and reinforce the state institutions so that they can play their prescribed role within the limits of law and the constitution. Only a strong economy can ensure strong defence. A moderate society guarantees stability of the state, where people enjoy all their fundamental rights and national resources are equitably and judicious distributed.
Pakistan desires positive and constructive relations with all the countries of the world, especially with its neighbours on the basis of sovereign equality. The people of South Asia have suffered enormously in the last fifty years due to the festering conflicts. Until and unless those conflicts are resolved amicably the people of the region cannot achieve prosperity and progress.
Our government has invariably made efforts to initiate the process of meaningful dialogue and adoption of peaceful means to resolve the issues but unfortunately the expansionist designs of India have remained the main hurdle in this regard. It is incumbent upon the international community to play its role in the resolution of the regional conflicts, particularly the Kashmir dispute in conformity with the UN Resolutions on the subject with a view to ensuring durable peace in the region.
Terrorism is the biggest challenge confronting the world in the twenty first century. Pakistan has rendered unparalleled sacrifices in the fight against this menace as well as for the world peace. Our armed forces, law enforcing agencies and the people have written imperishable stories of sacrifices in this regard. Now the time has come for the international community not only to acknowledge those sacrifices by rising above their interests in the region but also to fully support Pakistan in taking the fight against terrorism to its logical conclusion.
The younger generation of Pakistan is endowed with exceptional talent and has a burning desire for advancement. They are making admirable contribution in the fields of Information Technology, Engineering, Medical and Management all over the world, in a distinct manner. My government has a vision of accelerating the pace of development and prosperity in Pakistan so that all those professionals can return to contribute to this national effort.
I assure the Pakistani youth that tomorrow’s Pakistan will ensure the implementation of guiding principles of rule of law and ascendency of merit. On the seventieth independence day of the country, I make a solemn pledge that we will not relent until the achievement of those objectives.
Updated Date: Aug 16, 2017 06:33 AM