ISLAMABAD - Abiding commitment to the vision of founding founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah is the best path forward for Pakistan on its way to sustainable peace, progress and prosperity.
This was stressed by Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, Director General Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI), at the Institute’s web celebration of Independence Day 2023.
Hosted by ISSI’s Arms Control & Disarmament Centre (ACDC), the web celebration was moderated by Director ACDC Malik Qasim Mustafa and attended by the research faculty and staff of ISSI.
A presentation on the theme ‘Peace Within and Peace Without,’ was given by ACDC Research Associate Ms Aamna Rafiq.
She stated that despite complex and difficult geopolitical, geoeconomic, and geostrategic dynamics in the regional and global landscape, Pakistan has faithfully adhered to the Quaid’s vision of peaceful coexistence with all states. Also, any challenge could be tackled with tolerance, patience, mutual respect, and discipline. “We must continue to celebrate the diversity of cultures, languages, and ethnicities to achieve unity, prosperity, and peace within,” she said.
In his remarks, DG ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mahmood said that independence anniversaries are always special occasions — as they entail both celebration as well as reflection.
But, first and foremost, they are the occasions for remembrance and expression of gratitude. It is important to remember all the martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifice so that the succeeding generations could live as a free, independent and sovereign nation.
This is equally an occasion for expressing gratitude to the founding fathers for their vision and far-sightedness. Keeping in view the plight of Indian Muslims in the wake of a majoritarian ideology one can’t thank the Quaid enough for his single-minded focus and unrelenting struggle for a separate homeland.
Over the past 76 years, the DG ISSI added, Pakistan has achieved so much that it should be proud of. A country, being written off due to complex social, political, and economic problems at the outset and lacking basic infrastructure and vital resources, has not only survived well but also has become a formidable member of the comity of nations with nuclear capability — only through sheer grit, tenacity and resilience. These are the attributes of living nations. Pakistan has time and again proven that it is a living nation. Over the past 76 years, there have been challenges, disappointments and setbacks as well. But the country has always fought hard and come back. There is no doubt that Pakistan will continue its journey of progress with the same zeal and realize its fullest potential as a nation.
Ambassador Sohail Mahmood stressed that the key in this regard is an abiding commitment to the Quaid’s vision of Pakistan as an economically strong, socially progressive, democratic, Islamic welfare state. “Peace within, Peace without” was a cardinal principle of Quaid’s vision for Pakistan as a polity and nation-state. Faithful implementation of this vision would enable Pakistan to attain sustainable peace, progress and prosperity, he emphasised.
The research faculty from the centres of excellence and staff officers, while expressing their views, noted the challenges being currently faced and underlined the imperatives of unity, faith, discipline, continued hard work, patience, tolerance, perseverance and resilience. They shed light on the need for a positive attitude, a forward-looking approach, sacrifice, and valuing the freedom achieved several decades ago and working hard for the fulfilment of the vision of Pakistan.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG ISSI, stated that Independence Day is not only a day of celebration but also a day of introspection.
The people of Pakistan should always remember and respect the struggles and sacrifices made by their forefathers. Furthermore, think tanks like ISSI are playing a positive part in building the narrative of Pakistan and this important role should continue.