ISLAMABAD: A flag hoisting ceremony was held at President House this morning as a part of the celebrations of the country’s 74th Independence Day.
Addressing the ceremony after hoisting national flag, President Dr Arif Alvi said the country faced multiple challenges after it came into existence in 1947 as it rendered thousands of sacrifices in war on terror and eventually overcame the menaces of terrorism and extremism.
He said Pakistan generously hosted as many as 3.5 million Afghan refugees, out whom 2.7 million are still residing in the country, in stark contrast to western countries that didn’t even take in one hundred immigrants.
President Alvi maintained Pakistan responded to Indian belligerence with peace overtures, slamming the neighbouring country for making the lives of its minorities miserable.
He expressed solidarity with Kashmiris, who, he said, have been facing the worst human rights violations at the hands of Indian occupation forces, particularly after August 5 move of the occupied region’s annexation.
He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to Kashmiris in their cause, adding Pakistan will not leave Kashmiris alone. He said Kashmir issue has been taken up at the UN Security Council four times during the last one year, which is a huge success of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The president said Pakistan has also released its political map, reflecting the true aspirations of its people as well as Kashmiris, adding d the new map shows Pakistan’s principled stance on Kashmir issue.
Highlighting the ruling PTI’s performance during two years of its tenure, President Alvi said the government launched an effective campaign against corruption in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said the government devised an effective strategy against coronavirus pandemic, including smart lockdown policy, due to which coronavirus has largely been brought under control. Unlike some countries, he added, Prime Minister Khan did not resort to a complete lockdown, realising that it will badly impact daily wagers. He said several countries wanted to replicate Pakistan’s policies on coronavirus pandemic.
He expressed gratitude to healthcare professionals for helping turn the tide against the pandemic.
The president said Pakistan band together nations to fight the menace of extremism. He said the PTI government brought in Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme under which cash handouts were given to 16.9 million deserving people.
He said the country’s economy is on the mend despite downturn in world economies brought on by the contagion.
Alvi emphasised that nations can get rid of poverty by bringing improvement in the education and health sector. A uniform curriculum will play a key role in fostering patriotism and progress in the country, he added.