| Dr Arif Alvi says country has overcome menace of terrorism 

| Hopes Afghan-US peace deal to bring stability | Tells 

anti-corruption campaign reflects vision of PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD          -    President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday said the nation surmounted several challenges since its independence for a brighter future of the country.   

President Alvi expressed these views while addressing the main flag hoisting ceremony of Independence Day at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad on Friday. The President said the country has reached the tipping point where improvements are being witnessed in various areas. He said Pakistan is transforming and it has the strength and resilience to become a great nation.

While highlighting the nation’s past achievements, the President said, “We have overcome the menaces of terrorism and extremism.” He said while other countries avoid hosting refugees, Pakistan generously hosted 3.5 million Afghan refugees for decades, and 2.7 million of them are still living in Pakistan.

Referring to the good news the nation received during the last two years, the President said an effective campaign was launched against corruption, which reflected the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said Pakistan has largely controlled coronavirus pandemic as a result of its effective smart lockdown strategy. He said unlike some other countries, Prime Minister Imran Khan did not resort to complete lockdown, realising that it will badly impact daily wagers. He said several countries wanted to replicate Pakistan’s policies vis a vis coronavirus pandemic.

The President paid tribute to the Prime Minister for his vision and lauded role of the Ulema and the media as well as services of doctors and paramedics for combating Covid-19. The President said under Ehsaas Programme, cash assistance was distributed among 16.9 million needy people during the difficult days of Coronavirus. He said the health facilities proved more than sufficient during the pandemic. He said education was also imparted to students at their homes during the pandemic. He said the government is also preparing a uniform curriculum, which will further strengthen national unity and upgrade education standard. The President said Pakistan’s economy has also shown positive signs despite Covid-19 negative impacts, and Moody’s has recognised it.

Expressing solidarity with Kashmiris who have been facing the worst human rights violations at the hands of Indian occupation forces particularly after August 5 last year, the President reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to the Kashmiris in their cause. He said Pakistan will not leave Kashmiris alone. He said Kashmir issue has been debated at the UN Security Council for four times during the last one year, which is a big success of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

The President said Pakistan also released its political map, reflecting true aspirations of its people as well as Kashmiris. He said the new map shows Pakistan’s principled stance on Kashmir issue. On Afghan issue, the President said the peace agreement between Afghanistan and the United States will lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan is the second largest beneficiary of peace in Afghanistan.

The President said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is not merely a project between Pakistan and China, but it will contribute to promoting transit trade in Central Asia and also help in establishing peace.

Earlier, the President hoisted national flag at the ceremony. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, federal ministers, special assistants, parliamentarians, three services chiefs and other senior officials attended the ceremony.