If we can become nuclear power, so why not economic, says PM Shehbaz on Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has stressed the need for putting all efforts, akin to the one applied to acquire the nuclear capability, to become an economic power and stand among the world’s leading economies.
“This is the way forward,” he said while addressing the flag hoisting ceremony at the Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad on Sunday. “If we can become a nuclear power, so why not economic? We have to work round the clock to achieve this target.”
PM Shehbaz hoisted the national flag during the ceremony. Federal cabinet members, National Assembly speaker and Senate Chairman were also present. Kashmir battalion, led by Hawaldar Muhammad Ramzan, brought the flag to the Jinnah Convention Centre. The national anthem then was played.
The day began with 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in Lahore. Floral wreath-laying ceremonies were held in provincial capitals of Sindh and Punjab. Pakistan was celebrated its diamond jubilee – 75th Independence Day – with zeal and fervour as the country continues to deal with economic and social problems, prompting PM Shehbaz to again pitch the idea of the charter of economy for long-term prosperity on the eve of occasion.
‘Thank God, we are able to celebrate this joy’
The nation bows in front of God that people are able to celebrate the joys of Pakistan’s 75 years, the premier said after addressing all the guests at the centre.
“I wish all Pakistanis here and around the world on this occasion and laud their services for Pakistan’s progress,” he said, “We pray to God that may people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine get the blessing of independence as soon as possible.”
The premier on the occasion also prayed for the flood-affected people in Balochistan. More than 180 people have so far been killed in heavy rains in the resource-rich but the backward province, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority data showed.
Pakistan’s independence, a lesson
He was of the view that the country’s independence was a lesson for the people. “When nations collectively aim for a target then there are no difficulties,” the premier said and spoke about poet Allama Iqbal’s dream for a separate land for Pakistan.
“Today, we are living in a free, self-sufficient country,” he said and hailed the efforts of freedom fighters.
“It was the result of those great sacrifices that God gifted us this ideological country,” PM Shehbaz and sang laurels for the martyrs of the country.
Minorities’ important role: PM
The premier hailed the role of minorities in the country’s progress, stressing that the community along with Muslims played their part in the country.
“You all are free to practise your religious practices,” he said while quoting excerpts from the Founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s presidential address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in Karachi on August 11, 1947.
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in the state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state,” Jinnah said.
PM Shehbaz explained that Constitution, democracy, and the law would prevail in the Muslim majority country, adding that it would lead the country towards development.
He also paid tributes to civil society, writers, and philanthropists, including Abdul Sattar Edhi and Dr Ruth Pfau.
“The second stage after the foundation of Pakistan is incomplete,” he said while describing it as the real basis of the foundation of Pakistan. It was mentioned in the resolution of Pakistan.
Pakistan was playing its role in many sectors of development. The country is the world’s seventh and the Islamic world’s first nuclear power.
Made progress, but with slow pace: PM
The premier highlighted that the country has made progress over the last 75 years, however, he lamented the pace of reaching the target.
“This is the mission that is in front of us and we have to achieve. We have to review and opt for a national dialogue to become an economic power. We have to prove to the world that Pakistan is second to none in the fields of creativity, passion, and skills,” he said.
“We have achieved this independence after many sacrifices,” he said, “we will give the last drop of our blood for its protection and people who spread sadness will again face defeat.”
He added that the country with the army to defeat such forces.
Tapping youth’s potential
He described youth as Pakistan’s important asset, which has to lead the country forward. “It is our responsibility to give you opportunities and skills and you have been among our priorities.”
PM Shehbaz, quoting Jinnah’s guidance, called for getting an education. “Do you want Pakistan to develop like other nations, end beggars bowl, and rule of law? So come and we should get united to fulfil our mission.”
He hailed the re-recording of the national anthem, adding that people from different ethnicities were participating in it. “It was the best presentation of different flowers in a vase.”
“Let us pray, God gives us strength to realise the real purpose of the independence day.”
Later, the premier also participated in a plantation initiative and urged the people to plant trees for the next generation.
PM Shehbaz once again invited the opposition to sit with the government for formulating the charter of the economy.
“Independence is unimaginable without achieving economic freedom,” he said in a televised address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day.
Re-recording of national anthem
The government has re-recorded the national anthem to commemorate the day, as many as 155 artists, 48 musicians, and six band masters have participated in it.
The initiative was led by a steering committee formed by the government.
Facts about national anthem
- Launched on August 16, 1954
- The first broadcast was held on August 13, 1954
- First colour film was recorded on January 19, 1955
- Ahmed G Chagla made the tune
- Hafeez Jalhandri wrote it
More to follow