By Sajjad Hussain
Islamabad, Aug 14 (PTI) Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Monday appealed to political leaders to shun
their differences and antagonism as the cash-strapped country celebrated its 76th Independence
Addressing a flag hoisting ceremony held at the Convention Centre here, the president also
expressed his gratitude to friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran
and Turkiye for supporting Pakistan during its economic woes.
He expressed confidence that Pakistan could become a developed country in a few years.
Asking politicians and other stakeholders to embrace the path of forgiveness, Alvi said, “My demand
to the leaders of this country is to be united.”
The president said it was important to break free from nepotism, promote meritocracy, and ensure
comprehensive justice, particularly in the socio-economic sphere, in order to progress.
He regretted that 27 million children in Pakistan are out of school and asked the rich of the country
to come forward and make arrangements for their education. He also highlighted the greater
participation of women in economic activities.
Talking about terrorism, he said that about 100,000 people were killed in the fight against the
menace and assured that Pakistan was committed to the fight against terrorism.
Separately, in his special message, Alvi urged citizens to work for the welfare and uplift of deprived
sections of the society.
The president also reiterated the need for national unity to surmount social, political, economic and
In his Independence Day message, outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that while the
country had defeated many odds and achieved milestones, the “story of Pakistan has yet to reach its
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir paid tribute to the nation’s founding fathers and stressed
that the country knew how to defend its hard-earned freedom.
In his address at the Azadi Parade held at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul late on Sunday, the
army chief said the nation had “maintained this tradition of celebrating freedom, equality and the
quest for happiness, which we must continue to cherish”.
Acknowledging the myriad of challenges faced by the nation, from geopolitical wrangling to internal
threats, Gen. Munir said, “Let me caution them all, in the words of our great Quaid, ‘There is no
power on earth which can undo Pakistan,” asserting that the army stood ready to defend the
country’s sovereignty at all costs.
Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan also issued a pre-recorded message on the Independence
Day, urging countrymen to exert themselves towards the advancement of Pakistan.
This objective, he said, will be achieved only when the country gets independence in its true sense
and there is establishment of equality among all individuals in the eyes of the law.
According to a Radio Pakistan report, Independence Day dawned with a 31-gun salute at the federal
capital Islamabad and a 21-gun salute at the provincial capitals. Special prayers were offered in
mosques for peace, solidarity and prosperity of the country.
A one-minute silence was observed throughout the country with the sound of sirens to herald the
flag hoisting ceremony at nine in the morning. Change of guard ceremonies were also held at Mazar-
i-Quaid in Karachi and Mazar-i-Iqbal in Lahore.
By Sajjad Hussain