Addressing the nation, President Alvi said the country is heading in the right direction to become a strong nation as the government’s focus is on industrialisation, technology and knowledge economy. “We have significantly improved all our macro-economic indicators.” During the 74 years journey, “Pakistan faced many challenges but it successfully overcame them with hard work, sacrifices and the support of the entire nation” he said.

“Pakistan is a brilliant and brave nation… Pakistan singularly fought a long-drawn war against terrorism and eventually defeated the menace. The development of nuclear deterrence by Pakistan is a great achievement that has made the country’s defence impregnable” he said. The Pakistani nation demonstrated its compassion and values by hosting millions of Afghan refugees for many decades, he added.

Pakistan is still facing many social and economic challenges but the government has initiated steps such as social welfare programmes under the “Ehsaas Program” to provide education, health, and financial assistance to the impoverished segments. “Let’s pledge to follow the ideals of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and work for the unity and prosperity of Pakistan” he said as he paid glowing tributes to the struggle and sacrifices of the founding fathers.

In his special message for Pakistanis, Prime Minister Imran Khan said: “We have surmounted monumental challenges during the course of our history to emerge as a united, peaceful and resilient nation. Even today, the changing regional dynamics along with some domestic issues continue to test our resolve.” However, he assured that “we will overcome these obstacles with our determination and come out stronger as a nation.”

Reiterating that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, he said “Pakistan will continue to support a negotiated political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. We want peace within and peace without to pursue our socio-economic agenda.”