H.E. Mr. Raja Pervez Ashraf
Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Message on the occasion of 66th Independence Day of Pakistan
On the auspicious occasion of 66th Day of Independence, I would like to extend my felicitations to my countrymen including overseas Pakistanis.
August 14, 1947 saw the successful culmination of a heroic struggle of the Muslims of the sub-continent for their right to have a separate homeland.
Pakistan appeared on the world map through a democratic struggle and its progress and prosperity lies in continuation of the democratic system as well.
The present coalition government has undertaken various historic initiatives during the last four and half years and pursued a policy of reconciliation. The passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment empowered the federating units administratively as well as politically. The consensual adoption of the 7th National Finance Commission Award increased the share of provinces in the federal divisible pool. We have also refashioned our country’s foreign policy in accord with Parliamentary guidelines and national interest. Besides, Benazir Income Support Programme, a flagship programme of the government, has focused on women empowerment and welfare of the poorest segments of society.
I am reminded of Quaid-e-Azam’s message on the inauguration of Pakistan Broadcasting Service on August 15, 1947, Quaid-e-Azam said: “The creation of the new State has placed at tremendous responsibility on the citizens of Pakistan. It gives them an opportunity to demonstrate to the world how can a nation, containing many elements, live in peace and amity and work for the betterment of all its citizens, irrespective of caste and creed”.
I would like to take you back to the address made by the Father of Nation to the Constituent Assembly on 11th August, 1947 where he said: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State”.
Let me assure my fellow citizens that in conformity with the guidelines laid out by the Father of the Nation, my government is committed to an equal status for minorities, as citizens of the State.
We are confronted with various challenges such as energy crisis, law and order problem, economic difficulties, terrorism, and extremism, which have slowed down the pace of socio-economic development.
Despite all the difficulties, Pakistan is a vibrant polity where judiciary is independent, Parliament is functioning, media is vibrant, and civil society is active.
We are a resolute and determined nation and can overcome these daunting challenges if we demonstrate tolerance, unity, solidarity and understanding.
This year, 14th of August falls in the holy month of Ramadan. Thus this holy month carries added significance for us. On this blessed occasion, we bow our head in eternal gratitude to Allah Almighty for His favours and pray for the security, unity, progress and prosperity of the country.
Let us pledge to work together and commit ourselves to the progress and prosperity of our nation by setting aside our mutual differences so that the country can get its rightful place in the country of nations.