Won't Tolerate Efforts By Terrorists, Other Groups To Destabilise Pakistan: Zardari

PM Shehbaz Sharif vows to put Pakistan on track for economic recovery, urges unity on shared values

Won't Tolerate Efforts By Terrorists, Other Groups To Destabilise Pakistan: Zardari

President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday reiterated that Pakistan was a peace-loving and responsible nuclear state that wanted peaceful ties with all of its neighbours. But it would not compromise its sovereignty nor tolerate any efforts by terrorists or any group aimed at destabilising it. 

"Pakistan wants relations with all our neighbours. We are a peace-loving country and a responsible nuclear state. However, let me make it clear that we will not compromise on our sovereignty… We will not tolerate any efforts by terrorists or any group to destabilise our country," the president said while addressing the Pakistan Day Parade ceremony in Islamabad on Saturday.

Pakistan Day, also known as Resolution Day, commemorates the adoption of the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940. The resolution, put forth by the All-India Muslim League, called for the creation of a distinct homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent. 

The day started with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and a 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals. Besides President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, federal cabinet members, services chiefs, diplomats, notables from different walks of life and a huge number of citizens attended the ceremony. Saudi Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, was the guest of honour of the ceremony. 

In his address, President Zardari said that the Pakistani nation and armed forces were always ready to respond to any aggression at all times.

"Today's parade is a reminder of our unity, strength, and pride," the president said.

The president's address encompassed domestic subjects like recent elections, efforts against terrorism, economic challenges, the establishment of SIFC, and the regional situation, including the human rights abuses in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as well as Gaza.

He told the gathering that the Kashmir dispute was the main reason for instability in the region as the people of Kashmir had been demanding their self-determination rights for the last 76 years. He condemned the brutalities perpetrated by Indian forces against unarmed residents of the illegally occupied and disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir and the human rights violations there. 

President Zardari urged the international community to play a role in implementing the UN Security resolution. He also assured the Kashmiris that the people of Pakistan would continue standing by them till they were given their right to self-determination. Coming to the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, he appealed to the international community to take measures to ensure that killings of women and children are stopped and a lasting ceasefire is declared, besides establishing a humanitarian corridor.

The president also reiterated Pakistan's continued support for the Palestinian people till the resolution of the issue as per their aspirations. 

Recounting Pakistan's journey is marked with many ups and downs, he said that despite the challenges, the Pakistani nation achieved distinctions in the fields of defense, agriculture, and technology, in addition to its internationally recognised contribution to fighting against terrorism.

Highlighting the current social, political, and economic challenges facing the country, he said that following the successful holding of elections and the formation of a democratic government, everyone was responsible for seeking solutions to all the issues.

"I believe that the way we faced the difficulties in the past, can steer the country out of the pervading problems even today. The Pakistani nation is hardworking and intelligent. The youth, using their mental capabilities, can guarantee a bright future," he remarked. 

President Zardari told the ceremony that the Special Investment Facilitation Council had been formed to attract investment in agriculture, livestock, mining, Information Technology and energy sectors. He also requested all the political parties to set aside their political interests and work together to bring prosperity to the country.

The president also thanked friendly countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, and the UAE, for supporting Pakistan in difficult times.

Economic recovery

In his message for Pakistan Day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that his administration was aware of the serious challenges confronting Pakistan and committed to putting Pakistan on the path to economic recovery and prosperity with a cogent policy reform framework.

"We are completely cognizant of the serious challenges confronting Pakistan currently, including inflation, unemployment, circular debt, fiscal and trade deficit, and above all, the growing scourge of terrorism," the prime minister said.

Felicitating Pakistanis at home or abroad, he said that as a nation, the Pakistanis had proved resilient in the face of extraordinary circumstances and stood the test of time.

"I can assure you that we stand committed to putting Pakistan on the path to economic recovery and prosperity with a cogent policy reform framework. I hope that these measures will bring economic stability and the current wave of high inflation will recede, bringing respite for our citizens," the prime minister remarked.

He asserted that in the journey to democracy, the people of Pakistan elected their representatives in the February 8 general elections, and consequently, governments were formed at the federal and provincial levels.

Prime Minister Shehbaz urged citizens to renew their firm resolve to follow in the footsteps of our founding fathers and make Pakistan a trivet of peace, progress, and stability.

"Let us not forget that our actions today will define the legacy of our generation and shape the course of history. Let us work for a Pakistan that is not driven apart by differences but is united around shared values," he urged.