ISLAMABAD                  -                Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that in order to fight the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, there was a need to follow the qualities of sacrifice, faith, unity and discipline with which the nation rallied behind the idea of Pakistan.

“In this hour of trial, as Pakistanis, we would do well to recall the qualities of sacrifice, faith, unity and discipline with which the nation rallied behind the idea of Pakistan. To be able to successfully defeat this common enemy, we need to marshal the same innate virtues,” he said in a message on the occasion of Pakistan Day.

“We must not also lose sight of the dire challenge faced by all mankind, the likes of which have rarely been witnessed. The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world to its core. It is testing the resolve and resilience of nations and peoples around the globe. The peril has also crossed our doorstep,” he said.

“We need to acknowledge and appreciate the tremendous sacrifices and contributions that our health care personnel and others, and personnel the world over, our soldiers in the forefront of this war, are making to keep us all safe,” he added.

The Foreign Minister said: “March 23 is the day of commemorating the valiant struggle of our forefathers for a separate homeland that began with the historic Pakistan Resolution of 1940, and culminated in the attainment of freedom seven years later.”

“Under the visionary leadership of Quad-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, they rendered heroic sacrifices and overcame tremendous odds. Against the expectations of its detractors, Pakistan not only survived but flourished,” he added.

The Foreign Minister said: “March 23 provides us an opportunity every year, to reflect upon our journey as a nation-state, ponder over the crests and troughs of our national experience, and contemplate about the future. We have come a long way, yet we have a long way to go.”

“Pakistan is not just the name of a territory or a political entity. More than that, it is an ideal, a spirit and an aspiration to actualize the very best virtues of humanity as bequeathed by our great religion,” he added.

The Foreign Minister said, “In a world beset by conflict, greed and inequality, the need for this message is perhaps more acute today, than ever before. History today stands testimony to the validity and the truth of the two-nation theory.”

“While we pay homage to the vision of our founder this day, we must not forget our 8 million brothers and sisters besieged by the Indian occupation forces in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir who are suffering unimaginable adversity for the crime of yearning for Azadi,” he added.

The Foreign Minister said: With an iron-will, and with all the political, diplomatic and moral force at its command, Pakistan will continue to stand by its Kashmiri brethren, till the dawn of self-determination.”