I extend my heartiest felicitations to all Pakistanis, living within the country and abroad, on the occasion of 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 Mohammad 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 Madina 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 & Discipline, are beacon of light, to overcome the challenges faced by the country. Let us today rededicate ourselves to make 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 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 IoK 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 to 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 Madina. 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.President calls for unityMeanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi stressed upon unity and harmony among the ranks of the nation to face the challenges and issues confronted by the country for achieving the national objectives of progress and prosperity.The president, in his message on the 73rd Independence Day, observed that all the strata of society had to work hard, irrespective of the factional or individual interests. He called upon all the citizens to play their due part in the progress and development of the country. Felicitating the countrymen on the Independence Day, President Alvi said their forefathers had given immense sacrifices and due to their untiring efforts, Pakistan emerged on the world’s globe as an independent country on 14th August 1947. “No doubt, freedom is a huge blessing. Now onus is upon us to present Pakistan as highly reputable, progressive and prosperous country among the comity of nations and thus transforming Pakistan under the visions of its founding leaders Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal.”The president also reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance over Kashmir issue by extending full assurance to the Kashmiris, struggling for freedom from the Indian subjugation, of its political, moral and diplomatic support. While expressing satisfaction over the sincere desire of patriotism and urge for the development of country as nurtured by the young generation, he said they had been fully acquainted with the objectives and significance behind the creation of Pakistan.