Posted by: Administrator | 17 July, 2006

President Address to the Nation, 23 March 2002

President, General Pervez Musharraf’s Address to the Nation

March 23, 2002

My dear countrymen, Assalam-o-Alaikum.

I congratulate you on the occasion of Pakistan Day. This day is a golden day in the history of Muslims of South Asia. It was on this day, 62 years ago when Muslim leaders from every nook and corner of the Sub-continent unanimously adopted the Pakistan Resolution. At the meeting held in the historic city of Lahore, under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, it was resolved that the Muslims of the Sub-continent will have their separate homeland. Muslim leadership pledged at the meeting that they would not hesitate to make any sacrifice to have a separate state. By the grace of Allah, the resolve of our elders was crowned with success and we are, today, citizens of an independent and sovereign state.

The political movement launched in March 1940, under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, has no parallel in history. It was not a movement merely for independence. The foremost objective of this movement was to seek recognition, by the world community, of the separate national identity of the Muslims of the Sub-continent and, then, to achieve a separate homeland for the nation. It has no parallel in history. Establishment of a separate state, through a peaceful political struggle, is a miracle of the 20th century. It came into being through the blessings of Allah and the untiring struggle by the people. The other factor, for this success, was that we had a sincere, strong, united and determined leadership, which, having a strong conviction, took forward the Pakistan Movement and achieved Pakistan in a short span of 7 years, when we were blessed with the independence and sovereignty and became the citizens of a separate state in August 1947. Our greatest asset was our leadership. This was a highly courageous, sincere and dedicated leadership. The vision of this leadership was a reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the entire nation. This leadership gave the golden principles of Faith, Unity and Discipline and acted upon them.

I had mentioned about this leadership on the Quaid-i-Azam’s birthday on 25th December, last year, and reminded you about his vision. I would like to draw your attention, again today, that we need a sincere and dedicated leadership for the reconstruction of Pakistan. I am confident that the elections, to be held in October this year, would prove an important step in this direction and, the leadership that would emerge, would run the true democratic system.

Ladies and gentlemen, you must have noticed that this year the Pakistan parade, which is part of the 23rd March Pakistan Day Programme, could not be held. It is due to the deployment of our valiant forces on the border who are determined to offer any sacrifice for the defence of their beloved homeland. The situation faced by us on our eastern borders and the Line of Control is due to the aggressive policies of our neighbouring country. India has amassed its entire army on Pakistan’s border and the Line of Control. They have an aggressive posture. As such we had to take necessary steps for our defence and our forces, by the grace of Allah, are in a position to deal effectively with the adversary. We want peace in the region but would not compromise on our honour and dignity. Our stand is that all issues should include the core issue of Kashmir and should be resolved through dialogue. But, if India wants to talk from a position of strength, then it should have no illusions. With the blessings of Allah, Pakistan has the full capability to defend itself and is in a position to thwart any aggression against it. If anyone tries to challenge its power, they would be taught a lesson, which would be remembered.

Ladies and gentlemen, your armed forces have the full capability of facing any situation on the border. As head of the Army, I am most grateful to the people of Pakistan, who have always stood shoulder to shoulder with their brave soldiers. As always, this time too, they have demonstrated a spirit of sacrifice and courage for which I am grateful to the entire nation. We all have strong determination and courage for the security and defence of our country. I am proud to say that the entire nation is imbued with the spirit of national unity and strong determination. I am confident that Allah will bless us with success whenever faced with any trial.

My dear countrymen, the government has an important duty to provide protection to the lives and properties of its citizens without any differentiation. I am fully conscious of it. In this connection, we are using all our resources and powers to identify and eliminate those involved in terrorism and combat the menace. The entire system needs basic changes. First of all, we would have to improve the performance of our intelligence agencies. Their duty is not to pass on information after the occurrence of the incident. Their job is to warn before such an occurrence so that it could be checked.

Secondly, in order to improve the performance of law enforcement agencies, they would have to be equipped with latest weapons. Special attention will have to be paid to their training and investigation capabilities. The judiciary will have to play a key role to correct the entire system. I am fully confident that they would realize their responsibilities and remove their shortcomings and rise to the expectations of the people. I wish to assure you that the government is actively engaged to bring about a positive change in all these fields. No mercy would be shown to those government functionaries who show negligence and irresponsible behaviour. We cannot eliminate terrorism only through an effective system and latest weapons unless we collectively show abhorrence to violence and to those who indulge in it. We must save Pakistan from terrorism and the menace of sectarianism, even if we have to pay a heavy price for it.

My dear countrymen, I would like to draw your attention to an important issue: I accept, with an open heart, that we have still to do a lot to remove poverty and improve the condition of the middle class. Due to wrong policies of the past, we are faced with difficulties. I do not wish to go into the causes of this, over and over again. Poverty can be eradicated from the country only through economic prosperity. I assure you, we are working on these lines.  We need some time. I am confident that a number of small and big projects, that we have launched, have started showing a positive effect on the lives of the common man. These include development projects, improvement of the system of Zakat, establishment of Khushhali Bank, removal of poverty under Khushhal Pakistan Programme, construction of new dams, new highways and projects like the Gwadar Port. Their completion will usher in a new era of prosperity which will fulfil the hopes of all of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, this year, Pakistan Day falls during the month of Muharram, which is a month of great sanctity. The martyrs of Karbala held aloft the values of this month. They sacrificed their lives to defend the cause of righteousness, truth and unity. The best way to pay tributes to them is to promote mutual love. We should not allow the differences of our Maslik to deviate from our unity. We should move forward keeping in view our traditions of respecting each other’s sentiments. History is a testimony to the fact that the Muslims of the Sub-continent had worked together, as one nation, during the Pakistan Movement. All Muslim factions and groups remained united for the achievement of the same objective and Islam and Islam alone was their identity. That is how Pakistan came into being. I have firm conviction that it is through faith, unity and discipline that we can move forward on the path of reconstruction of Pakistan.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us pledge today that we shall always keep alive the spirit of Islamic brotherhood and national unity and frustrate the designs of those elements who want to create chaos and disruption in the name of Fiqah, and Maslik. Let us renew our resolve to devote ourselves for the security, progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Let us pray to Allah to bless us all.

Pakistan Zindabad.

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