ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the nation to building a Pakistan as envisaged Quaid-i-Azam.

The Prime Minister said,"Sadly, too often in our short and turbulent  history, we have fallen short of living up to this ideal. So let us, on this day, redeem our pledge to build the Quaid's Pakistan." He said this day was a reminder of the heroic struggle undertaken by the Muslims of the Sub-continent for a separate homeland. "Our forefathers underwent great trial and tribulation, with millions suffering the travails of dispossession and exile, and hundreds of thousands laying the ultimate sacrifice at the altar of freedom - so  that our children may have a country to call their own, where they could build a prosperous and secure future for themselves," said the Prime Minister.

He said, “The day should also recall to us the ideals and aspirations that inspired Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Dr Allama Mohammad Iqbal.

"We should not forget that Pakistan was the culmination of a long and arduous constitutional struggle. It was made possible only because millions of Muslims exercised the oldest, most basic democratic right - the right to vote for their own future," he added.

Nawaz Sharif said that to do this, "we must first reclaim our country from the forces of darkness and obscurantism." The operation Zarb-e-Azb was a step in that direction, and it was a step taken with great caution, even reluctance, and only after every other option had been exhausted, he added.

He said the operation Zarb-e-Azb was not simply a campaign to restore the state's writ to North Waziristan, which had become a breeding ground for terrorism and extremism; it was a battle for the soul of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister said it was thus the duty of all patriotic Pakistanis to stand behind the gallant armed  forces as they fight to keep Quaid's Pakistan alive. This was not the time to sow doubt and confusion. The stakes were simply too high.

He said the need of the hour was for unflinching resolve and absolute unity as it was the only language our enemies understand.

"I have no doubt that the people and armed forces of Pakistan willInsha Allah prevail in this struggle. And our victory would bring Pakistan the peace and stability which is a precondition for growth and development," the Prime Minister said.