President Dr. Arif Alvi on Friday said the Pakistani nation surmounted numerous challenges since independence and learnt a lot through difficult times to take the country to a brighter future.
Dr. Arif Alvi was addressing the main flag hoisting ceremony at the President House and wished 74th Independence Day to the nation. The President said, “The country has reached the tipping point where improvements are being witnessed in various areas.
“We have overcome the menaces of terrorism and extremism. While other countries avoid hosting refugees, Pakistan generously hosted 3.5 million Afghan refugees for decades, and 2.7 million of them are still living in Pakistan.
“Pakistan gave a message of peace in reply to Indian aggression and sacrificed thousands of lives in fight against terrorism. “An effective campaign was launched against corruption, which reflected the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan has largely controlled coronavirus pandemic as a result of its effective smart lockdown strategy.
“Unlike some other countries, PM Imran Khan did not resort to complete lockdown, realizing that it will badly impact daily wagers. Several countries wanted to replicate Pakistan’s policies vis a vis Coronavirus pandemic.”
“I pay tribute to the prime minister for his vision and laud role of the Ulema and the media as well as services of doctors and paramedics for combating Covid-19.
“The President said under Ehsaas Programme, cash assistant was distributed among 16.9 million needy people during the difficult days of Coronavirus. The health facilities proved more than sufficient during the pandemic. Education was also imparted to students at their homes during the pandemic.
“The government is also preparing a uniform curriculum, which will further strengthen national unity and upgrade education standard. Pakistan’s economy has also shown positive signs despite Covid-19 negative impacts, and Moody’s has recognized it.
“Pakistan will not leave Kashmiris alone. The Kashmir issue has been debated at the UN Security Council for four times during the last one year, which is a big success of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
“Pakistan has also released its political map, reflecting true aspirations of its people as well as Kashmiris. The new map shows Pakistan’s principled stance on Kashmir issue.
“The peace agreement between Afghanistan and the United States will lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan is the second largest beneficiary of peace in Afghanistan. “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is not merely a project between Pakistan and China, but it will contribute to promoting transit trade in Central Asia and also help in establishing peace.” Earlier, the President hoisted national flag at the ceremony.
President Dr. Arif Alvi on the occasion also conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest Civil Award of the country, on the veteran Kashmiri Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Geelani on Independence Day for his services and sacrifices in the Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle for securing their right to self-determination.
In the award giving ceremony, glowing tributes were paid to Syed Ali Geelani for his unwavering commitment, dedication and leadership and his role in exposing Indian atrocities, suppressive measures and human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
Also, concern was expressed over continued unjustified house arrest of the veteran Hurriyat leader in frail health at the age of 90 years.