LAHORE: The people of Pakistan will have to live within their means instead of relying on foreign aid, and must adopt simplicity in the interest of progress and development of the country, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif said on the 63rd Independence Day of the nation. The CM was speaking at the flag-hoisting ceremony along with the two top position-holders of the Matriculation examinations at Hazoori Bagh on Friday.

Provincial ministers, members of the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly, the city district nazim, senior government officers, teachers, intellectuals and students were also present. The CM said Pakistan was not inhabited only by the elite and has a population of 17 crore, which must be taken into account. He said the citizens must pledge to use all their energy and resources to transform Pakistan according to the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah – founder of the country – and Poet of the East Allama Iqbal. The CM said the people needed to renew their determination to make sacrifices for the survival of the country. He said they should learn from past mistakes and all segments of society should make collective efforts for the country’s future.

Shahbaz said August 14 was the most important day in the nation’s history since it was the day when Muslims of the Sub-continent had ended the subjugation of the British and Hindus. He said the Pakistan Movement taught people that tireless efforts were necessary to achieve objectives.

Nuclear assets: The CM said the Independence Day was a time to thank God for the country’s freedom. He said the people should ponder over whether the country was a proud and independent nation, since it had faced more failures than success during the past 62 years. The CM said although Pakistan was a nuclear power, if it did not change its policies of relying on foreign aid, its nuclear assets could be at stake. He said no country could prosper if it accepted foreign assistance, and there was a need for self-sufficiency and to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare and democratic state. He said Pakistan should promote education, science and technology instead of foreign reliance.

Ulema: The CM said despite 62 years having passed since the creation of Pakistan, it was far from achieving its goals and faced many crises. He said the Gojra killings had tarnished the country’s image and he appealed to the ulema to promote tolerance, restraint and harmony in the society and to acknowledge modern knowledge as playing a vital role in the nation’s development.

Source: Daily Times