The English rendering of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s Speech delivered on on the Independence Day of Pakistan (August 14) at Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad.
“I extend my warm felicitations to the nation on the 67th Independence Day of Pakistan. I also felicitate those Pakistanis, who are settled abroad but their hearts are in Pakistan and deem the green flag as a symbol of honour and dearer than their lives.
Pakistan is our identity that we earned through immense sacrifices.
Countless people gave their blood to kindle the light of freedom and millions had to migrate for this purpose. Our elders sacrificed their present for our future.
Today we remember our forefathers and pay tribute to them for rendering extraordinary sacrifices to give us an identity.
Today we also pay homage to Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah for providing us a sincere and divine leadership that we consider as a gift of Allah Almighty.
On the international horizon, he occupies a highly dignified stature. He proved that with honesty and steadfastness a nation can surmount all difficulties and that character and determination are the keys to ultimate success.
Pakistan was envisioned by Allama Iqbal. Luckily we had the fortune to have such a great poet, who could foresee the enormous potential of our future that emerged as an undeniable fact in the shape of Pakistan. Not only this, but Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam also sensitized us to the challenges and responsibilities our future generations had to face.
Almighty God has showered all His bounties on us. We have four seasons to benefit from. Our mountains are full of natural resources and our rivers are flowing to the brims. We are extremely grateful to Allah Almighty for all the precious gifts.
Dear brothers and sisters!
Whereas this Day reminds us of the mercy of God, it also invites us to self-accountability. Our forefathers had played their due role but did we fulfil our responsibilities? Allah Almighty did not exercise chariness in granting us His bounties but did we thank Allah Almighty for these? There are many such questions that we have to answer today. Let’s face these questions and see as to how far we have been able to meet the expectations of our forefathers.
We had obtained this country so that we can live freely in accordance with our cultural traditions and no internal or external force was supposed to dictate us.
We had to determine our priorities ourselves. The rulers should come and go according to the wishes of the people. Did we achieve these objectives? Did we allow democracy to prosper and survive?
No nation can live under subjugation and in the words of Allama Iqbal, slavery injures ego and self-respect.
Were we able to safeguard our ego after independence? Were our basic rights protected? Did our self-respect remain intact?
This country was the result of the protest of a minority. The very existence of Muslims was in danger in the united India. With every passing day the Muslims realized that they were pushed to the wall. Quaid-e-Azam, who was once the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity, was compelled to demand a separate homeland for the Muslims.
This was not a case of aggression against another nation. From Allama Iqbal’s speech at Allahabad to Pakistan Resolution, the demand for a separate homeland was a prudent and practical solution to establishing peace in the Sub-continent.
Are the rights of minorities protected in a country that was established on the principle of mutual co-existence? Are the minorities satisfied? Did we fulfil the promise that the Quaid-e-Azam gave to them on August 11, 1947? We had promised that we shall develop Pakistan as an exemplary modern welfare state for the world. We wanted to make Pakistan as a beacon of light for the people of the world and to make a hub of peace. Did we make Pakistan such a state?
Today the Independence Day requires answers to all these questions. The rulers, the nation, the intellectuals and politicians have to face these questions and ask themselves for the answers. We have to evaluate as to how many answers are in positive. If many of the answers are positive then we have the right to be satisfied. However, if many of our answers are in negative then this is the most opportune time for self-accountability and the correction of our mistakes.
Dear brothers and sisters!
When I delve on these questions, I realize that despite the reservations there is hope and optimism. With this optimism, we can take a better start with renewed determination. We have the light that will turn despair into hope.
I want to describe some such things. The youth account for 60% of our population. This wealth is hardly possessed by any other country in the world. Pakistan is an Atomic Power. The manner, in which Pakistan achieved this milestone despite hostile circumstances, proves that it possesses a bewildering potential of accomplishment. The way the nation behaved in the recent elections is a shining example of its wisdom, which is most dependable. As a nation, we have the potential and capacity to make correct decisions. This is a sign of great hope. No decision in the region can now be taken without involving Pakistan. Pakistan is an important country of the region, which is acknowledged the world over. Gwadar Port and related facilities, which were agreed upon in my recent visit to China, will bring an economic revolution in the region where Pakistan will be a hub for economic and political activities. Pakistanis are known for their talent and industry in the world. They have outshined in many areas. Today they are a major source of foreign exchange for the country. Above all, whenever the country needed them they responded to the call of the country. They are the strategic reserve of the country and a source of ever glowing hope. Now we have before us the sacred objective of rebuilding the country, which aims at establishing the supremacy of Constitution, stability of democratic institutions and rehabilitating the country’s economy on strong footings. Every one of us has to contribute to this task irrespective of our personal interests. If we do not sacrifice today, our future generations will never pardon us.
With the grace of Allah Almighty our intentions are pious and our morale is high. We have started in the right direction, with faith in Allah. In sha Allah with active support of the people, the administrative potentials of our colleagues and with the sincerity of our intention, we will develop Pakistan as a welfare state in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam. “The present circumstances demand that the economic and democratic intuitions should be strengthened and true democratic governance should be instituted so that there is transparency in the affairs of the government and wastage of national resources is avoided. These were the objectives for which our forefathers struggled to achieve.
We should not forget the fact that the key to our success lies in adherence to the principles of Quaid-e-Azam.
Unfortunately, extremism and terrorism have cast a dark shadow and the nation is worried at this. I am not only cognizant of the anxiety of nation because of terrorism but also extremely worried at heart. The nation also realizes well that such difficulties do come in the life of nations and it has to demonstrate unity and solidarity under the present circumstances.
In sha Allah our morale is high and we have all the capacity to defeat the terrorists. I am confident that with active support of the people, the armed forces and the law and order enforcing agencies, we shall be able to eliminate terrorism and make the country a hub of peace.
We shall transfer a safe and peaceful Pakistan to our coming generations. Today Pakistan is fulfilling its international responsibilities in the best possible manner. We are part of the UN peace missions and the services of Pakistani forces and experts are acknowledged the world over. Our commitment with the world peace is an open secret.
In recognition of Pakistan role, the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon is present today with us. I welcome him to Pakistan. It is a matter of honour and privilege that the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, has joined us on our independence day. We thank him for accepting the invitation of the Government to visit Pakistan. I would also like to express my gratitude to him for visiting Pakistan on a day so close to the heart of each and every Pakistani.
Your presence at our independence day is reassuring for us. On 15th August 1947, Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of the nation, while outlining the guiding principles of Pakistan’s foreign policy, stated, “We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our contribution to the peace and prosperity of the World.”
In the last 66 years of our independence, we have stood by the Charter of the United Nations, contributed to global peace through our efforts in the General Assembly and the Security Council and ensured global security and prosperity by contributing the largest number of troops to the UN Peacekeeping operations.
On our independence day, we renew our pledge to continue playing our positive role in promoting global peace and security.
I have intentionally avoided describing the problems we are facing today. I will soon take the Nation into confidence. I will soon unfold the salient features of the promising future, which is in my mind. Today, I want to tell you that despite some anxieties, we are hopeful for a better and prosperous future. The leadership is united. We have enough to build a new world of our own.
In sha Allah we will come out of the present mess as we have all the necessary resources to embark upon a new journey. May Allah Almighty be our Saviour and Guide. Pakistan Zindabad”