Islamabad: The nation is celebrating Pakistan Day today with a renewed pledge to transform the country into a true Islamic welfare state in line with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and to ensure its progress, prosperity and strong defence.
Pakistan Day commemorates the historic Lahore Resolution passed on 23rd March 1940, under which Muslims of the Sub-continent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.
The state-run Radio Pakistan said that the day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals.
Special prayers were offered in mosques after Fajar prayers for the progress and prosperity of the country.
However, due to the bad weather, the Pakistan Day military parade of the Armed Forces at Aiwan-e-Sadr was postponed till Saturday.
In Lahore, a simple but graceful “Change of Guards” ceremony was held at Mazar-e-Iqbal. Pakistan Air Force took charge of guard duty from Sutlej Rangers.
Air Vice Marshal Syed Imran Majid Ali was the chief guest on the occasion who laid a floral wreath on the national poet’s grave and offered fateha.
President Alvi’s message
President Dr Arif Alvi has expressed confidence that Pakistan has the ability to overcome the challenges it faced today and said that working with unity, faith, and discipline would make the country strong and prosperous.
In his message to the nation on Pakistan Day, he mentioned that the country established state institutions, made its defence impregnable, achieved nuclear deterrence, curbed terrorism, overcame the COVID-19 pandemic, and displayed the spirit of sacrifice and cooperation in the face of natural calamities.
Message from President Dr. Arif Alvi on the occassion of Pakistan Day.#PakistanResolutionDay pic.twitter.com/EtUEusnVU9
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) March 23, 2023
However, he said, “We still have a long way to go to ensure the rule of law, strengthen democracy, reduce inequalities in our society, empower women, provide the rights of persons with disabilities, eradicate terrorism and extremism, ensure the political and economic stability of the country, and protect the human rights of our citizens.”
He felicitated the entire Pakistani nation on the occasion of Pakistan Day and said it was on this day in 1940 that Muslims of the sub-continent passed the Pakistan Resolution and made the demand for a separate homeland where they could freely lead their lives in accordance with Islamic ideals.
“Today, we pay tribute to the founding fathers of our nation whose struggles and sacrifices led to the creation of Pakistan,” he said.
The president said the persecution of minorities, especially the Muslims in India, the rising wave of Hindutva and violence against Muslims, violation of human rights, and brutalities being committed by the Indian security forces in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) proved that the Muslim leadership of that time made a prudent decision.
He said the also serves as a reminder to take stock of our successes and failures as a nation.
PM Shehbaz’s message
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan came into being as a result of political and constitutional struggle and its future lies in adhering to the constitution in its letter and spirit.
“I have no doubt that Pakistan is destined to achieve great heights. However, for this to become a reality, we have to forge unity in our ranks, equip ourselves with national purpose and vow to wage a struggle in line with the legacy of our forefathers,” the prime minister said in a message on Pakistan Day being observed on Thursday.
The prime minister said that the 23rd of March was an epoch-making day in their national history that reminded them of their past, invited them to ponder over the present state of affairs, and inspired them to build a prosperous future.
وزیراعظم شہباز شریف کا یوم پاکستان پر پیغام#PakistanDay pic.twitter.com/7YVVIg9ZYm
— Government of Pakistan (@GovtofPakistan) March 23, 2023
As they celebrate Pakistan Day and paid tribute to the sacrifices of their founding fathers, they should not lose sight of the challenges staring them in the face, he observed.
“The challenges are topped by a combination of economic instability and the inability to settle the rules of the game. An environment of political chaos explains why we have failed to develop our economy on a sustainable basis.”
“This day is also the day to renew our pledge,” he stressed.
The prime minister said that it took them back to 1940 when Muslims of the sub-continent approved a resolution for the establishment of a separate homeland they could call their own under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s dream of freedom manifested itself in the form of a resolution representing Muslims’ demands, and aspirations for a separate homeland, he added.
The prime minister said the consequential seven years witnessed history in the making as the Quaid-i-Azam led a relentless struggle to translate the dream of Iqbal into reality. The establishment of Pakistan was certainly a miracle of the 20th century.
“The last seventy-five years of our journey have seen us fight many crises from wars to natural disasters. There have been many occasions when we overcame the odds and achieved many milestones,” he added.
“Let us use this day to introspect and hold ourselves to account. Only those nations that are capable of analyzing their past, learning from their mistakes, and making amends can achieve true glory,” he added.
As a member of the international community, the prime minister said Pakistan had played the role of a responsible nation in the resolution of problems facing humanity and the establishment of global peace.