Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said the whole nation stood behind its armed forces like a solid rock and it would continue to do so in future to defeat the evil designs of anti-Pakistan forces. “This mutual bond of love, devotion and abiding reverence has remained unbroken. I have an unwavering belief that our armed forces will always live up to the expectations of the people in future as well,” he said in his address at the passing out parade of cadets at the Pakistan Air Force’s Asghar Khan Academy here. The prime minister congratulated the graduating cadets, their parents and the faculty on the most memorable moments of their lives. PM Shehbaz said over the last two decades the nation had been tested by a combination of challenges such as terrorism, extremism and militancy. “The manner in which our armed forces, including the air force, police and intelligence community have risen to the challenges and neutralized the threats to our national security is simply outstanding.” He lauded the PAF leadership for making the Pakistan Air Force a truly professional, progressive and high-tech organization. He recalled the recent example of the PAF’s true professionalism when it gave a befitting and determined response to the Indian aggression in February 2019. “The whole world saw how our brave sons humiliated the Indian Air Force with show of exceptional skill and expertise,” he added. With respect to the economic challenges, the prime minister said the global economic crisis adversely affected all walks of life in the country. However, he vowed not to let the people be at the mercy of the disruptions in the global markets. “We need to build resilience and protect our economy from global shocks. This is possible if we think long and hard and introduce structural reforms in the economy to make it sustainable,” he said, adding it was for that purpose that he had always been a strong proponent of the Charter of Economy. “Let me assure you that we are making all efforts to bring our economy back on track. Thanks to the tough decisions at the cost of our political assets, we are on the way to overcoming these challenges successfully one day soon.” The prime minister said Pakistan was a peace-loving nation and wished to maintain friendly ties with all countries, especially neighbours, however, “our desire for peace must not be misunderstood as weakness”. He said there could be no peace in South Asia without a just and fair settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the United Nations resolutions and the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. “We condemn the grave human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and urge the world to take note of the illegal changes by India post August 2019,” he added. Earlier, the prime minister reviewed the parade and presented awards to cadets. Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, and other civil and military officials were also present on the occasion.