He said that amid celebrations today we should not be unmindful of the threats to the basic values on which our nationhood was founded and reject all attempts to turn Pakistan into a theocratic state.
He reiterated that the welfare of the people must always be upper most in our minds, as the security of the country will be enhanced, not undermined if the state focused on welfare of the people.
Zardari also paid homage to the countless people who sacrificed their lives and endured hardships to make the dream of Pakistan come true. He said that our thoughts also go out to those whose lives have been devastated by militancy and extremism and in the recent carnage in Quetta.
He said that those who have suffered for the cause of democracy and rule of law will be remembered with respect and admiration, and that we cherish the memory of those who have laid down their lives to defend Pakistan from the scourge from extremism, militancy and religious bigotry.
He also reiterated his commitment to make Pakistan a truly modern, democratic, progressive and liberal country in the sense where freedom and opportunity are its defining characteristics.