On I-Day, Pakistan Says Wants ‘Peaceful Coexistence’ With India

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Pakistani youth gather to form the biggest national flag ever shaped by people in Lahore.Xinhua
Pakistani youth gather to form the biggest national flag ever shaped by people in Lahore. Xinhua

ISLAMABAD (PTI) Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain Friday said Pakistan wants peaceful coexistence with all its neighbors, including India, but any threat to its security will be thwarted.

Addressing a gathering of civilian and military officials at a function here to mark the country’s 69th Independence Day, the President said, “Pakistan desires peaceful coexistence with all the neighboring countries, including India, but any threat to our security will be thwarted.”

“Pakistan will not compromise if there is any threat to our territorial sovereignty,” he said.

Apparently referring to firing incidents along the LoC, he regretted the recent “acts of aggression” on the eastern borders the country shares with India.

He said the government is pursuing a “bold and effective” foreign policy as a result of which its image has improved in the comity of nations.

Stating that Pakistan is in the midst of a war against terrorism, he said, “Terrorists and those working on the agenda of foreign enemies are trying to sabotage the peace in the country.”

The President said that there were some “undesirable incidents” trying to destabilize the country and that the “action is being taken against negative, destructive elements which have tried to harm the unity of Pakistan.”

“The government and the armed forces have launched a robust campaign against them, which has started showing positive results,” Hussain said, asserting that the campaign against terrorists will continue till the elimination of the menace.

The President said, “The entire nation stands by the government and the armed forces in this war against terrorists who are on the run.”

He hoped that this problem will be overcome “in a short span of time.”

Hussain said the challenges of narrow-mindedness, extremism and terrorism faced by the nation can only be addressed by promoting modern education according to the vision of the forefathers.

Emphasizing on the need to rein in corruption and stabilize the country’s economy, the President said the government has taken concrete measures to cope with these challenges.

He said that USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is of vital significance not only for the two countries but for the entire region.

Congratulating the nation on the Independence Day, the President paid rich tributes to the leaders of Pakistan Movement “for their untiring efforts to secure a separate homeland for the Muslims of Sub Continent.”

“We should renew the spirit of Pakistan movement to take the country forward on the path of progress and prosperity,” he said.

The flag hoisting ceremony, where the President was the chief guest, featured national songs and documentaries on the progress made by the country in different sectors.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq were also present at the event.

The country’s 69th Independence day kicked off with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21 gun salutes in the provincial capitals.

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