Press Release – In-House Meeting “Celebrating 73rd Pakistan Independence Day”

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Press Release
In-House Meeting
Celebrating 73rd Pakistan Independence Day

August 14, 2020

The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized an In-House meeting today to celebrate Pakistan’s 73rd Independence Day.

The occasion commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran and playing of the national anthem.

The event was moderated by Mr. Najam Rafique, Director Research, ISSI. During his remarks, he stated that a majority of the people of Pakistan have forgotten the dire circumstances in which its founding members struggled to achieve freedom. Today, individual self-interests have made us neglect the desire for collective progress of our nation. May Allah grant us with that power, which make us strive like our founders did. Unless we at an individual level do not change ourselves, we will not be able to change the state of our nation, he said.

During his remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General, ISSI stated that a nation is a culmination of its individuals. This is why each individual needs to work hard in their particular fields, all the while maintaining self-respect and self-confidence. Such a thought process will collectively bolster Pakistan’s success. He also laid emphasis on the repercussions of negatively bashing our country and said one should refrain from doing so. There is no respite in victimhood, he said. We should count and cherish the great blessing of freedom Pakistan has granted us and protect its sanctity at all levels.

In his observations on the occasion, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BOG, ISSI said that 14th August is a testament to the struggle and resilience and sacrifices of our forefathers. Their contribution cannot be compared. Validity of our founder’s far-sighted vision of the two-nation theory can be seen in the detriment that RSS’s separationist and exclusionist ideology has yielded on the Muslims of India. Every country goes through highs and lows. What is important is how one stands up in the face of adversity. Through hardiness and endurance, Pakistan has so far been able to manage its way, and I am hopeful that Pakistan has come to stay as an independent sovereign state provided we keep in line with the principles underlying our independence.

Researchers at the four Centres of Excellence at ISSI also spoke on the occasion.

Speaking for the Arms Control and Disarmament Centre (ACDC), Ms. Ghazala Jalil said that while it is important to remember how Muslims fought to get independence under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it is equally important to acknowledge the sacrifices that our forefathers made with their blood to secure a homeland for us where we enjoy freedom today. It is a matter of pride that Pakistan developed its nuclear capability- its defining element in the security paradigm- despite limited resources and sanctions. She said that though Pakistan has come a long way in the 73 years since it was created, there is still a long way to go. It is up to each Pakistani to make sure our homeland is nurtured, developed and kept safe for millennia to come.

Speaking about the oppressed Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK), Ms. Areeba Khan, representing the Centre for Middle East & Africa (CMEA), noted how even in these difficult times, every year the brave people of Kashmir raise the flag of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on August 14th in commemoration of the hard-earned independence of the country. This valiant act is in itself a confirmation of Pakistan’s fraternal bond with the people of Kashmir. She prayed that very soon, a new and independent dawn rises on the foothills of the beautiful valley of Kashmir.

On behalf of China-Pakistan Study Center (CPSC), Mr. Ali Haider Saleem pointed out how August 14th serves as a reminder to follow Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s motto of “Unity, Faith, and Discipline” and revives our belief in the glorious principles of justice and fair play. He stressed on the responsibility each individual has towards the development and progress of Pakistan. He also added that we should not forget that the fight for freedom is not over yet for the Muslims of the subcontinent. Let us pray for the people of IoK who are echoing their voices for freedom from Indian oppression, be grateful for the opportunity granted to us and strive to raise our country’s flag higher.

On behalf of India Study Center (ISC), Ms. Mahwish Hafeez said that those who are born in an independent country and have the blessing called Azadi, often fail to appreciate its true value. Freedom is hard to get and to understand its true worth, one only needs to look at the current plight of Indian Muslims. Today, as we are celebrating 73​rd independence day, let us pay tribute and remember all the sacrifices given for the freedom and existence of our beloved land, pledge to not let any harm come to our country and ​be thankful to Allah for Pakistan.

The event concluded with a speech by Mr. Abid Hussain, Librarian ISSI during which he prayed for the prosperity, security and success of Pakistan. He also referred to the rich natural and cultural heritage that the country has been endowed with and talked about the importance of engaging in soft power diplomacy and investment in the youth of Pakistan.