Pakistan has achieved self-reliance in defence: President Arif Alvi

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Islamabad – Rana Talha Akhtar:

President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said Pakistan has achieved self-reliance in defence and extended a message of goodwill to regional countries for the common goal of prosperity, but clarified that intentions must not be misconstrued as its weakness.

“In case of any misadventure, Pakistan is capable of thwarting it with full force,” the president said in his address.

President Alvi said Pakistan believed in promoting cooperation in South Asia, which was already facing hindrance in development due to conflicts and discords.

“The goal of national and regional development can only be achieved in the environment of peace and by refraining from all kinds of aggression and exploitation,” he stressed.

The president felicitated the nation on Pakistan Day, saying the occasion was a reminder to renew the pledges of religious, cultural and fundamental freedoms.

Terrorism eradicated

Dr Alvi lauded the armed forces for their valour and bravery in defending the frontiers of the country, and rendering immense sacrifices for the safety of the nation. They remained ever-ready in dealing with the challenges, might it be terrorism, natural calamities or disasters.

“From barren deserts to the high-altitude Siachen and the vast skies to the depth of oceans, our armed forces are acting as a strong defence line,” he said.

He mentioned the complete eradication of terrorist networks by the armed forces through the Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad that restored normalcy across the country.

‘Situation in Kashmir worsening’

On Indian Occupied Kashmir, the president said not only Pakistan but the whole world is concerned about the treatment meted out to innocent people.

“Whatever is happening in Kashmir, it has become a human tragedy.”

He reminded the world that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute is under the resolutions of United Nations resolutions.

“The whole Pakistan nation is with the Kashmiri people and will continue to stand by them,” Alvi said to Kashmiris.

He urged the international community to take notice of the Kashmir situation and play its role in ensuring regional peace.

Thanks China for COVID-19 support

The president also hailed the friendship with China, saying “China is Pakistan’s true friend and bilateral relationship between the two countries is strengthing in all spheres including defence and security.

“Pakistan is extremely grateful to the government and people of China for the gift of coronavirus vaccine,” he said.
Peace in Afghanistan

President Alvi said that Pakistan sacrificed a lot for peace in Afghanistan and has always supported such efforts, adding, “the world has acknowledged Pakistan in this regard.”

Calls for strengthening OIC

The president said Pakistan has good relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf states and called for strengthening the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) to fight the rising wave of Islamophobia.

He recalled Islamabad’s efforts and said, “we will continue to play our role.”

Arif Alvi thanked the military leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey and other friendly countries for participating in and attending a Pakistan Day parade on Thursday despite challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, saying their presence at the event was proof that they always stood by Pakistan.