ISLAMABAD  - President Asif Ali Zardari has urged the nation to pledge that we will never allow anybody to endanger our existence as the dark forces of extremism, militancy and sectarianism have posed a far too serious challenge to the integrity of the nation.

In a message on the Defence of Pakistan Day being observed on Thursday (today), the President said: “let us pledge that we will never allow anyone to endanger our existence as a moderate, tolerant and peaceful nation where political choices will be made by the ballot”.

The President said the need for clarity of purpose and national unity to achieve it is ,therefore, even greater.

He said on this day we pay homage to our great sons and daughters who laid down their lives in the defending our frontiers.

They sacrificed their lives so that we live in freedom. They did not die in vain, he added.

He emphasised the need for reviving the spirit of unity of September 6th, 1965 in meeting the new challenges.

“While paying homage to the great martyrs let us also pledge that we will never allow their sacrifices to go in vain”, he exhorted the nation.

The President said the demonstration of unprecedented unity among the people, singularity of purpose at the national level and valour of the Armed Forces has made September 6 a memorable day in our national calendar.

The commemoration of September 6 revives our spirit and strengthens our resolve to defend the country against all kinds of threats and be always prepared to make any sacrifice for its integrity and honour, he stated.

He reminded that on this day in 1965 the people of Pakistan from all provinces and representing all shades of opinion joined hands in standing behind the valiant Armed Forces in thwarting aggression.

The day also serves to remind us how the unity of the people and the valour of the Armed Forces together can conquer aggression and overcome challenges, the President said.

President Zardari said on this day we salute the people for their show of unity, the Armed Forces for their courage to defend the country and also pay homage to our martyrs who laid down their lives in upholding the honour of the country.