PRESIDENT Arif Alvi has echoed the feelings of the people in relaying a clear message that Pakistan was fully resolved and capable of defending its independence and sovereignty.
Addressing the Pakistan Day parade, he said Pakistan believed in promoting peace and development in the region for common prosperity but its “desire for peace” should not be misconstrued as weakness.
The President made the declaration at the right occasion as defence forces of Pakistan demonstrated their professional skills at the spectacular parade, boosting morale and confidence of the people at a time when the country was facing a multitude of challenges.
What the President has conveyed is not a hollow slogan as our defence forces, fully backed by 220 million people, demonstrated time and again their capability to defend the motherland against external threats and internal security risks.
They have successfully waged a war against the menace of extremism and terrorism, putting the country on the path to socio-economic progress.
There have also been numerous attempts by adversaries of the country to undermine our security and defence but the defence forces thwarted their designs in a tit-for-tat manner.
Pakistan has almost sorted out the issue of terrorism as it affected the march of the country on the road to progress and prosperity and it is seeking cooperation of other countries to ensure regional peace and security as the ideal of progress and development cannot be realized in an environment of tension and hostility.
This is a well-considered approach of Pakistan and that is why the President pointed out that peaceful co-existence is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy, adding that the goal of national and regional development can only be achieved in the environment of peace and by refraining from all kinds of aggression and exploitation.
We hope leadership of South Asian countries would listen to his impassioned appeal for rejection of the politics of hate, prejudice and religious extremism to guide the region towards prosperity.
It is also pertinent to recall what Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa highlighted during his oft-quoted speech at the national security dialogue in the Federal Capital recently where he called for putting our own house in order.
The national leadership ought to take practical measures to realize this objective as no policy and programme for accelerating the pace of socio-economic development can produce the desired results without national harmony and unity.