ISLAMABAD -  President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi have stressed upon adherence to the principles of Father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to adequately counter all the challenges of today's world.

"September 11 is the day when we pay homage to the memory of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as well as reaffirm our commitment to those principles of democracy, constitutionalism and egalitarianism that Father of the Nation propagated throughout his life," the president said in a message on the 69th death anniversary of the Founder of Nation.

“We have to continue to strive for making our country a place where people live with freedom, dignity and honour, as envisioned by the Quaid," the prime minister said.

"The best way to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation is to adhere to the principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline, and to carry forward the Quaid's legacy in letter and spirit toward making Pakistan a developed and prosperous country," they said.

The president and the prime minister said on Quaid's death anniversary, "Let us on this day resolve to stand united in confronting all challenges that we face and once again make a pledge that we will make Pakistan a country where there will be rule of law, respect for human rights and economic opportunities for all."

"We need to pause and reflect as to how far we have succeeded in pursuing the path shown by our Quaid. Equally important is to ponder over our shortcomings and failures," they added.

They said Quaid-i-Azam possessed a high degree of uprightness, honesty, integrity, courage and conviction.

He never compromised on his principles nor allowed expediency to influence his judgments. These pre-eminent attributes endowed him with clarity of vision and steadfastness that enabled him to withstand heavy odds and carve an independent state for the Muslims of the sub-continent, they added.

They said faced with various challenges including the threat from the militant mindset, economic challenges and poverty there was need to follow in letter and spirit the principles of our great leader.  They said Pakistan was envisaged to be a country where there would be social justice and economic opportunities for all.

"We therefore, also need to adopt policies that promote social justice and economic opportunities for all. Our people have a long history of struggle for achievement of the objectives for which Pakistan was created," they added.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari said on Sunday that Pakistan should not be guided by theocracy.

In a message on the eve of the death anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, he asked the people to reaffirm their commitment to making Pakistan a democratic, progressive and a welfare driven and liberal state.

“Welfare of the people is the best way to ensure national integration, social cohesion and consequently the security of the country,” he said.

He said: “On the eve of Quaid’s death anniversary, we reiterate the pledge to adhere to the principles of the state laid down by the Quaid himself.”

Today, he said, “more than ever before, we need a narrative that rejects the militant ideology and inculcates a spirit of tolerance and dissent.”

Zardari said: “Fighting the militant mindset calls for freedom of expression embedded in the law to freely propagate alternate narratives. It calls for building an intellectual infrastructure resting on the foundations of free inquiry, free debate not only in academic institutions but also as a way of life.”

The former president also paid homage to those who laid down their lives and rendered huge sacrifices for the achievement of Pakistan as well for preserving democracy and constitutionalism and in fighting the militancy.