Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has congratulated the entire nation, including overseas Pakistanis, on the country’s Independence Day.
“The nation is celebrating the 76th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence today,” he said.
“On this auspicious occasion, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire nation, including overseas Pakistanis.
“This day holds a special significance in our hearts, for this historic day saw an unprecedented freedom struggle culminating in the establishment of the State of Pakistan.
“Today, we pay rich tributes to the men, women and children who got together under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to struggle for the creation of a land they could call home. In the process, they established a glorious example of commitment and devotion to the cause of Pakistan.
“I also take this opportunity to pay homage to the Quaid-e-Azam’s visionary leadership and other leaders without whom the dream of Pakistan could not see the light of day.
“The nation will eternally remain indebted to them for gifting us with the precious gift of freedom.
“The idea of Pakistan was much bigger than we can imagine; it was an aspiration, which was shaped by a fear of living under the majoritarian principle advocated by Congress.
“The Quaid-e-Azam challenged this interpretation, which was meant to suppress Muslims’ identity and keep them as a minority under the garb of Western democracy.
“As we celebrate the 76th Independence Day today, we need to summon the spirit that marked the independence movement and employ the lesson of unity and self-belief to chart the way forward.
“There is no denying the importance of many milestones we have achieved in the last seven and a half decades, often against opposing circumstances.
“We have faced the worst natural disasters, conflicts and wars and always managed to build back better.
“All along the way, we have jealously guarded the gift of freedom that we so passionately prize.
“August 14 is more than just a date; it is a symbol of the Pakistani nation’s resilience, courage and unwavering commitment to freedom.
“As the nation commemorates this day, it is an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the past, celebrate the achievements of the present, and envision a brighter future for our people.
“The spirit of independence continues to inspire Pakistanis to overcome challenges and work towards a nation that embodies the principles of justice, equality, and prosperity for all.
“On this day, let us remember the sacrifices of our forefathers and pledge to uphold the values that define our great nation.”