LAHORE – Renewing his pledge to bring back the nation’s looted money from Swiss banks, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that he would not rest till President Zardari’s dadagiri (gangster tactics) is exposed before the masses.
Workers of the Pakistan Movement were invited as guests of honour on the occasion while TheNation Editor-in-Chief and Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust Chairman Majid Nizami, along with Prof Dr Rafique Ahmad, Dr M A Sufi, Justice (rtd) Aftab Farrukh, Col (rtd) Jamshed Tareen, Provincial Parliamentary Secretary Rana Muhammad Arshad, Ch Naeem Hussain Chattha, Nasrullah Khan, Brig (rtd) Zafar Iqbal Ch, MPA Dr Asma Mamdot, Mian Farooq Altaf, Media Advisor to CM Shuaib bin Aziz, Molana Muhammad Shafi Josh, Yasin Watto, Rafaqat Riaz and a large number of people from different walks of life also attended the ceremony.
Shahbaz Sharif in his address said that today was a grand day in the history of the country when the Muslims of the subcontinent gathered in this city to ascertain their destination. Pakistan Day, he stressed, demands of self accountability. “We cannot and should not compromise on our national aspirations, we would have to reject that life which undermines our self respect and honour” asserted the CM. He also paid rich tribute to TheNation Editor-in-Chief Majid Nizami on the completion of 50 years of his editorship in these words: “Nizami has constructed a building of journalism so strong that could not collapse even in dictators’ regimes”.
Majid Nizami in his address said: “Today when we are celebrating Pakistan Day, a historic resolution was passed in the same city on 23rd March, 1940. It gave an impetus to the struggle to realise the dream of a separate country and in a brief span of seven years the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent changed the world atlas.”
Calling it an epoch-making event, Nizami said that the Pakistan Resolution united the Muslims under the flag of Muslim League for the attainment of a shared objective based on high ideals of Islamic social justice and human compassion. The 23rd of March, he said, served as a reminder for all citizens to be a true Pakistani, ready to render sacrifices for country, by standing united against all odds.
He said that Pakistan was established against the will of Hindu and British imperialists. Pointing to inequality in distribution of national wealth, Nizami said: “Today, Pakistan has become an embodiment of both prosperity and poverty, as the gulf between the rich and the poor is widening with every passing day.” He believed that successive rulers had failed to abide by the golden rules set by founders of the nation.
He said that only ‘Shahbaz-e-Pakistan’ (a title he has given to present Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif) had the capability to follow the vision of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam.
Calling Kashmir the jugular vein of Pakistan, Nizami said: “We have forgotten the saying of Quaid-i-Azam and rather started trade with India who is the worst enemy of our country”. He said that trade with India meant enmity with the Two Nation Theory that provided basis for Pakistan.
He added that India wanted to make the country barren by depriving it of water and a nuclear war was indispensable with India to teach it a lesson.
“Is our atomic program meant only to be decorated in a show case”, he asked.
Earlier, before starting his speech, Majid Nizami enthused national spirit in the audience by raising slogans for Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal and Fatima Jinnah.
Dr Rafique Ahmad on the occasion said that the tradition to celebrate Pakistan Day was set by Quaid-i-Azam and NPT had continued it. Commenting on the celebrations in Balochistan on the victory of Pakistani cricket team, he called it a good omen, saying that people of Balochistan were as patriotic the whole nation. Members of the Pakistan Movement addressed the ceremony. They were unanimous on the point that Pakistan needed the kind of leadership that could unite Muslims. They said that March 23 provided an opportunity to reiterate the pledge to work for the attainment of the objectives as enunciated in the Pakistan Resolution.
NPT Secretary Shahid Rashid thanked the CM for his valuable contribution for construction of Aiwan-i-Quaid-i-Azam at Johar Town and distribution of residential plots among workers of Pakistan Movement.
The speakers also congratulated Majid Nizami on completion of 50 years of his editorship. Earlier, a simple but glorious flag hoisting ceremony was held and national anthem was sung and special prayers were made for the stability of Pakistan. Later, the participants visited the Pakistan Movement Martyrs’ Monument, placed bouquets and offered fatiha for them.