Islamabad- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement said that I wish to extend my heartfelt felicitations to all Pakistanis on the auspicious occasion of the 68th independence day of Pakistan. He said this day is a powerful reminder of the heroic struggle undertaken by the Muslims of the sub-continent for separate homeland where they could live their lives with freedom and dignity, in harmony with their religious and cultural values. PM said that our forefathers underwent great trial and tribulation, with millions suffering the travails of dispossession and exile and hundreds of thousand laying the ultimate sacrifice at the altar of freedom, so that our children may have a country to call their own, where they could build a prosperous and secure future for themselves. He reiterated that let us not forget that Pakistan was the culmination of a long and arduous constitutional struggle. Prime Minister said we should redeem our pledge to build the Quaid’s Pakistan, for this we must first reclaim our country from the forces of darkness and obscurantism, operation Zarb-e-Azb is a step in that direction and it was a step taken with great caution, even reluctance, and only after every other option had been exhausted. He further said Operation Zarb-e-Azb is not simply a campaign to restore the state’s writ to North Waziristan, which had become a breeding ground for terrorism and extremism, it is a battle for the soul of Pakistan.