ISLAMABAD  - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday urged the nation to make a pledge on the Independence Day not to let any harm come to the supremacy of the constitution, rule of law and continuity of the democratic system in the country.

“We cannot do justice with the objectives of the independence unless Pakistan gets deliverance from all kinds of chaos, adventurism and confrontation,” he said while addressing colourful Independence Day celebrations here at the Parliament House.

Nawaz said it was imperative for safeguarding of independence that Pakistan progresses in all fields of life.

“It is essential that dams are constructed, industries are set up, highways, sea ports educational institutions are built, energy projects are setup, employment opportunities are created and the whole country becomes prosperous,” the Prime Minister said.

He, however, regretted that unfortunately the country could not focus on this mission in past 68 years.

Speaker National Assembly, Chairman Senate, Cabinet members, leaders of all political shades, members of national and provincial assemblies and Senate, Services Chiefs, diplomats, senior serving and retired government officials participated at the ceremony.

The PM congratulated the nation on the auspicious occasion of the Independence Day and said, “the day reminds us of the sacrifices rendered by the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for independence.”

He said the day also revives the memories of the great poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal whose poetry inculcated the sense of liberation among the Muslims and gave the concept of an independent Muslim state.

He said the Independence Day also reminds us of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to protect the independence and for the defense of Pakistan.

Mentioning the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, the Prime Minister said the government made a sincere effort to resolve the issue through dialogue with the militants but the desired objective could not yield results.

He said after this, an effective operation had become inevitable for elimination of terrorism.

“Our valiant armed forces launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb that is going on successfully. This operation will continue till the terrorism is completely rooted out,” Nawaz expressed his resolve.

He said the nation salutes the officers and the soldiers of armed forces who sacrificed their lives during this operation.

“These martyrs are our benefactors who sacrificed their lives to protect lives and properties of 180 million Pakistanis and for country’s peace. The Ghazis who survived this operation also deserve equal applause for showing exemplary bravery in tough conditions,” he remarked.

He said the government has dedicated this year’s Independence Day celebrations to the Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Besides civilians and armed forces, the personnel of the FC, Rangers Police, security agencies as well as the law enforcement agencies were also contributing to this war against terrorism.

The Prime Minister said hundreds of thousands of residents of North Waziristan had to leave their homes for restoration of peace and elimination of terrorism from the country.

He said the nation too valued their sacrifices as these people were the benefactors who had rendered sacrifices to achieve peace for their countrymen. The Independence Day celebrations also feature solidarity with these displaced people, he said.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan was a peaceful country and the government was striving for internal peace besides a desire for durable peace on its international borders.

He said Pakistan desired good ties with the world particularly promotion of friendly ties in an amicable atmosphere, with our neighbours, was an important component of country’s foreign policy.

He said Pakistan also wanted durable peace in Afghanistan to avert any negative impact on its own internal peace.

The PM said Israeli atrocities on Gaza citizens were no lesser a tragedy. The bombardment on human settlements and massacre of innocent people was a moment of thought for the world community as well as the human conscience.

Nawaz said Pakistan would continue playing its role for promotion of human, cultural as well as democratic values.

“We are committed to eliminate terrorism. Following our constitution and law, we are engaged to build a Pakistan where citizens would get equal opportunities without any discrimination, rights of women, minorities and poor are protected and where there is no room for extremism and terrorism.

He said today’s army parade was true manifestation of the discipline, activeness and harmony of our armed forces and congratulated the officers and jawans who took part in the parade.

He also felicitated the fighter pilots of Pakistan Air Force and Army Aviation who performed the fly-past. He also lauded the programme by the Inter Services Public Relations and said national songs presented in this programme were the voice of the whole nation. He also felicitated the artists and the ISPR.

“Let us rise to start a fresh journey to take this independence to new heights of national dignity, excellence and pride,” the Prime Minister said.

The highlight of the ceremony was the march past by a contingent comprising the three services. It was probably for the first time ever that a military parade was held inside the Parliament building, marking the Independence Day celebrations as the clock stuck midnight. The impressive parade by a contingent of Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force on the beat of ‘Mard-e-Mujahid Jaag Zara’ enthralled the audience.

The contingent presented a salute to the Prime Minister. he also reviewed the guard of honour.