Let us rededicate ourselves to making Pakistan a prosperous country — PM Imran Khan

A general view of the Metropolitan building illuminated with national flag, ahead of Pakistan's Independence Day in Lahore, Pakistan, on August 13, 2019. (REUTERS/Mohsin Raza)
Updated 13 August 2019

Let us rededicate ourselves to making Pakistan a prosperous country — PM Imran Khan

Message of Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Pakistan Independence Day 2019

I extend my heartiest felicitations to all Pakistanis, living within the country and abroad, on the occasion of our 73rd Independence Day.

The day reminds us of the unmatched sacrifices rendered by our forefathers to protect and safeguard our religious, cultural and social values. It also reminds us of the objectives that led to creation of an independent Muslim state.

This day reinvigorates our spirit to make Pakistan stand out in the comity of nations as a dignified country. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah envisioned a progressive Pakistan where one could lead one’s life in accordance with the golden tenets of Islam, a state where democratic norms could flourish and rule of law prevailed, and where compassion characterized the bonds between the state and citizens. To this end, the state of Madinah is our model.

Allah Almighty has bestowed our country with great bounties and huge resources, and a bright future awaits us. Quaid’s principles of unity, faith and discipline are beacons of light to overcome the challenges faced by the country. Let us today rededicate ourselves to making Pakistan a developed and prosperous country. Let me emphasize here the role of overseas Pakistanis, and I am sure they will continue making us proud with their concerted efforts for the greater good of their homeland.

On this occasion, I also pay tribute to those sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives while protecting the ideological and geographical boundaries of the motherland, and kept aloft the banner of its freedom.

While the Independence Day is an occasion to rejoice and celebrate, we feel saddened to see our Kashmiri brethren in Indian-occupied Kashmir being subjected to the worst kind of oppression and ruthless state terrorism. The tyranny unleashed against innocent civilians has crossed all limits in total disregard of the international norms and the values of humanity, and has endangered the peace of the region. Let me reassure our Kashmiri brethren that we stand by them, and Pakistan will continue to provide its political, moral and diplomatic support to their just struggle for self-determination. The recent events in IoK have reinforced the Two-Nation theory envisioned by our forefathers.

May Allah grant us the strength to develop Pakistan on the model of state of Madinah. May Allah grant us the ability to transform Pakistan in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. May Allah help us secure for our country its rightful place among the comity of nations.

Pakistan Paindabad.


Ancestors made tremendous sacrifices to achieve freedom

Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan

I congratulate all Pakistanis on the 73rd anniversary of independence for our homeland. Undoubtedly, freedom is a great blessing and our elders and ancestors made tremendous sacrifices to achieve a free Pakistan. As a result of their struggle, Pakistan emerged as an independent country on the world map on August 14, 1947.

Now it is our responsibility to present Pakistan as a dignified and prosperous country in the comity of nations, and mold this country according to the wishes of the founding leaders of Pakistan: Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Allama Mohammed Iqbal. Nature has bestowed Pakistan with immense resources and a key geostrategic location, hence we all have a duty to build our country.

It is a matter of satisfaction and encouragement for us that the new generation realizes the aims and objectives of the creation of Pakistan, and has a passion for patriotism along with a sincere desire for development.

On this occasion we assure our Kashmiri brethren, who are leading their just independence struggle, of our political, moral and diplomatic support.

The challenges, problems and difficulties that we face in Pakistan today require that we achieve harmony and unity for the achievement of the national goals of development and prosperity, and that all sections of society works for Pakistan beyond their personal and group adherences.

On the occasion of the anniversary of our independence I also extend my sincere tribute to all the officers and young men of the security agencies who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of our freedom.

Independence Day fosters our enthusiasm and patriotism to serve our homeland, and our aspiration for our green flag to fly high in the world. On this day, we renew our commitment to make Pakistan a more prosperous and developed country.


Saudi Arabia occupies special place in hearts of Pakistanis

Raja Ali Ejaz,  Ambassador of Pakistan

It gives me immense pleasure to extend congratulations to fellow Pakistanis, living at home and abroad, on the Independence Day of Pakistan. We are indeed happy to celebrate the occasion with our brothers in our second home, Saudi Arabia.

This day provides us with an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of our Quaid and to the aspirations of Dr. Allama Mohammed Iqbal, who wanted to see the Muslim community flourishing in a separate homeland without any fear of oppression, intolerance, inequality or injustice.

We are proud to have developed into a modern state in the comity of nations through untiring efforts by the people and visionary leadership. Pakistan, a country of 200 million people, is today a progressive Islamic state with an active parliament, independent judiciary, free media and vibrant civil society. The country is endowed with immense natural resources and, above all, highly industrious, enterprising and peace-loving people.

Saudi Arabia is revered and occupies a special place in the hearts of Pakistanis. This is manifested by the outstanding relations between the two countries. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always stood by each other and the collaboration continues to grow.

We are grateful to Saudi Arabia for the warmth and hospitality it has extended to nearly 2.5 million Pakistanis, the largest overseas Pakistani community.

It is heartening to note the contributions made by our professionals and skilled and unskilled workers in the development of Saudi Arabia for the past many years are well acknowledged. 

I sincerely hope that cooperation in this arena will grow further under the auspices of Saudi Vision 2030. I urge the Pakistani diaspora to continue to work with zeal and uphold the dignity of our great country.

Let us today renew our pledge to make Pakistan the state envisioned by our forefathers and founders. I join my Pakistani brethren in praying that Pakistani-Saudi relations may grow and go from strength to strength for the benefit of Ummah and the people of the two countries.

May Allah bless Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with lasting peace and prosperity in the times ahead.

Long Live Pakistan. Long Live Saudi Arabia. Long Live Pakistani -Saudi friendship.


Makkah Route project eased Hajj pilgrims’ journey to KSA

Shahryar Akbar Khan, Consul General of Pakistan


I would like to extend my sincere wishes to all the Pakistani fraternity living in Saudi Arabia, on this auspicious occasion of the Independence Day of Pakistan. This day is a reminder of the struggle undertaken by the Muslims of the subcontinent, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, for a separate homeland where they could live their lives with freedom and dignity.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share common political, strategic and economic objectives. The relationship between the two countries is unique and deep-rooted in history. The presence of more than 2.5 million Pakistanis in the Kingdom is a source of strength for the friendship between the two countries. They are contributing to the economic development of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They are acting as a bridge of friendship between the two brotherly countries.

Pakistan also fully supports the Vision 2030 of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Hajj 2019 marked the initiation of Makkah Route project, under Vision 2030. It provided Pakistani pilgrims with the unique opportunity to use a pre-departure immigration facility at Islamabad airport, which simplified their journey to Saudi Arabia. 

We hope that this facility will be extended to more pilgrims and cities in future.

At the end of my official tenure in Jeddah, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my countrymen, the Saudi government and the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia, who have always lent their support and assistance in ensuring my work stay here in Saudi Arabia was smooth.

Working in Jeddah, the gateway of the Two Holy Lands, has been the experience of a lifetime, and I am blessed and honored to be part of this great fraternity who serve the pilgrims visiting Makkah and Madinah Munawarah. It gives me immense satisfaction to say that, during the course of my posting in Jeddah, I have endeavored to further the interests and the well-being of my countrymen during the various engagements and meetings held with scores of Saudi officials at various discourses and arenas.

We Pakistanis have an emotional link with Saudi Arabia and its leadership, who have always reciprocated by heartily facilitating and supporting our requests.

I would like to wish every Pakistani immense success in their endeavors and pray for the peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Long live Pakistan. Long live Pakistani-Saudi Arabian friendship.


Carrying forward the legacy of Pakistan’s founding fathers

Adnan Nasir, principal of PISJ-ES

 In the vast history of Central Asia, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in its exclusive sovereignty emerges so miraculously that it perplexes the minds of some apprehensive forces and lights the candle of hope for true freedom fighters across the globe. 

Aug. 14 marks the birth anniversary of Pakistan. It re-stimulates a sense of bravery and courage, aspirations and steadfastness, struggle and ownership of our ancestors to acquire an independent piece of land, a place that we proudly call home. 

Born from the ideology of Islam, its existence does not endorse prejudices, racism and feelings of superiority at any level; but sincerely propagates the principles of equality, human rights, tolerance and empathy, in quest of the global peace and harmony. 

For more than seven decades, Pakistan, with its social and religious values, mutual congeniality, profound ethics and rich cultural diversity, has been a heaven for minorities, a sanctuary for the majority and a bastion of faith.

In the same context, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah said in his historic address to the Constituent Assembly on Aug. 11, 1947: “We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”

Carrying forward the legacy of our predecessors, the prevalent conditions worldwide in general and Pakistan in particular demand that we make serious efforts to work toward the progress and prosperity of human race at large. 

Alongside the advancement in science and technology, trade and commerce, now is the time to stir in ourselves the attributes of kindness and compassion, while keeping our integrity and not being judgmental.

Being the true heirs of our homeland and real architects of this country, our youths and students must pay attention to education and work toward realizing the dreams of our ancestors while celebrating their achievements. 

Today is the day to renew our pledge to fulfill our responsibilities with full sincerity and cause a ripple effect of positive change by setting examples of excellence. 

On this special day, while extending my heartfelt felicitation to all Pakistanis across the globe, I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their commitment to keeping the bond of our Pakistani-Saudi relationship strong. 

May Allah Almighty enable us to protect both the countries and guide us to work toward their progress and prosperity.


Time to work hard to make Pakistan invincible

Aamir Shahzad,, SMC Chairman, PISJ-Azizia:

We are proud to be Pakistanis. Let every one of us pledge on this Independence Day to make our country the most competent in the foreseeable future. This day reminds us of the sacrifices made for the creation of Pakistan.

Aug. 14 commemorates the formation of Pakistan, and, we at Pakistan International School Jeddah in Azizia (PISJ-Azizia) celebrate the 72 years of independence with great enthusiasm. 

We relish the spirit of the day by thanking Almighty Allah for blessing us with an independent state in which we can spend our lives according to our own culture and Islamic principles.

We are also proud of our forefathers who fought for this day. They sacrificed their lives for the great mission of achieving independence from the British rule and it is now time to work hard to make it stronger and invincible.

PISJ-Azizia is a prodigious institute established half a century ago. Under the supervision of the Saudi Ministry of Education and the Pakistani Embassy, I have been given the responsibility as the chairman of the School Management Committee (SMC) and I want to say that the aim of the members of our committee is only to further the interests of this institute and the Pakistani community. 

With another year of excellent results, PISJ-Azizia continues its tradition of progress and development on the academic front.

All students passed the matriculation and intermediate examinations with flying colors under the Federal Board of Education (FBISE) Pakistan. Congratulations to our students and teachers. Together, they have set new standards with an excellent results, inching another step closer to their personal and professional development. 

The students in this institute are our future and the SMC aims to prepare students for practical challenges in life and to become an effective part of society. 

To the SMC members, principal of the school, Pakistani Embassy staff, students, and the Pakistani community living in the Kingdom, I wish you all a happy and blessed Independence Day. 



US officials push to revive Afghan peace talks

Updated 22 October 2019

US officials push to revive Afghan peace talks

  • High-level delegations in Kabul meet government, Taliban

KABUL: Top US officials including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi are pushing for the revival of Afghan peace talks, despite President Donald Trump abruptly declaring the peace process dead.

Esper, who was making his first visit to Afghanistan as defense secretary, met President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

“The aim is to still get a peace agreement at some point, that’s the best way forward,” Esper told reporters who were traveling with him.

Multiple rounds of talks to end the fighting have been held between the Taliban and diplomats in a process led by US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, with the Afghan government excluded at the insurgents’ insistence.

Pelosi, after meetings with Ghani and Abullah that were also attended by diplomats and the top US military commander in Afghanistan, said she had discussed the issue of peace talks with the Taliban.

“Our delegation received briefings from (US) Ambassador John Bass and other top diplomats on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban … We underscored that the women of Afghanistan must be at the table for reconciliation talks.”

Ghani discussed the Sept. 28 presidential election, bilateral matters and the peace process with Esper and Pelosi, his office said. 

“Peace is a priority for us, a peace which is led and owned by Afghans and the values of the constitution and women are protected in it,” a presidential palace statement cited him as saying.

Abdullah said he was backing the revival of talks and was ready to make a sacrifice for “real peace.”

“During a fruitful meeting with Pelosi, we exchanged views on the credibility of Afghan elections, credibility requisites, prospects for peace/political settlement. Peace is one of the priorities of the Afghan people and we are supporting these efforts and I am ready for any kind of sacrifice for gaining real peace and for the cessation of war.”

He, unlike Ghani, did not emphasize the need for the peace talks to be owned and led by Afghanistan, but stressed on keeping the gains made since the Taliban was removed from power.

Trump tasked Khalilzad with finding a peaceful solution to the war and the eventual withdrawal of US troops from the country. However the process was thrown into chaos when the president tweeted last month that he was canceling peace talks with Taliban leaders at Camp David after the group claimed responsibility for a Kabul attack that killed a US soldier and 11 other people.

Khalilzad made a surprise stopover in Pakistan earlier this month at the same time that Taliban delegates were on a visit to the country and, according to foreign media reports, discussed the revival of peace talks with the group which the US had toppled from power more than 18 years ago.

Waheed Mozhdah, an analyst who knows the Taliban’s leaders, said the US had already established contact with the group and was keen to sign a deal but was concerned about a potential political crisis between rivals Ghani and Abdullah who are the main candidates in the presidential poll.

The vote was twice delayed, while the initial results of the ballot have not yet been disclosed due to technical issues.

“Now everything has to wait for the result of the election … it seems the Americans are concerned that if it signs the deal with the Taliban now and a crisis begins due to the election, then it will make America’s position weak,” he told Arab News.

“Through these trips, American officials are trying to persuade both sides (Abdullah and Ghani) to respect the result of the election so that when the time of intra-Afghan dialogue starts with the arrival of a new government, the Taliban does not argue that there is a crisis with the government.”

He said Esper’s comments about troop withdrawal was part of the deal Khalilzad had discussed with the Taliban before Trump’s interjection. 

“Americans are confounded since Trump has come to power. First he pushed for the talks, then he canceled the talks and now wants them to be resumed,” he said.

Zubair Shafiqi, another analyst, said troop drawdown was a Trump goal that was aimed at his domestic audience and his re-election campaign next year.

He said Washington had come to the conclusion that the presidential election in Afghanistan would go to a second round, and that the visits by top US officials in recent weeks was aimed at telling leaders in Kabul that they had to brace for the formation of a broad-based interim set-up which should involve the Taliban too.

“I think Americans think that with the low turnout based on (last month’s) election, there will be no strong government in Afghanistan, so it is trying to convince the key sides that they have create a government in understanding with the Taliban,” he told Arab News.