President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf both said that they were committed to making Pakistan the country that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned it to be. -File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf urged the nation to uphold the clarion call of unity, faith and discipline given by father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

In a message issued on the eve of Jinnah’s birth anniversary, he said: “As we celebrate the 136th birth anniversary of the father of the nation, we bow our heads in gratitude to Almighty Allah for having bestowed us the gift of Pakistan.”

“This would not have been possible without the untiring efforts, singularity of purpose, vision and leadership of Mr Jinnah. He was a constitutionalist who believed in democracy and social justice,” the PM said.

The prime minister said that Quaid’s struggle for a separate homeland for the Muslims of India was aimed at creating a country where the Muslims could practice their religious, cultural and traditional values freely.

“Pakistan People’s Party in line with the teachings of the father of the nation has endeavoured to make Pakistan a welfare state, free from all sorts of exploitation. We succeeded in establishing democracy in the country which is gaining strength with the passage of time,” Ashraf said.

“Let us devote all our energies to work for the progress and prosperity of the country by rising above religious and sectarian differences. Let us also pledge that we shall defeat terrorism and extremism to make Pakistan a bastion of peace and harmony,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari said that the PPP government and its coalition partners are committed to making Pakistan a tolerant and progressive society as envisioned by Jinnah.

Addressing members of the Christian community of Karachi at a reception hosted in their honour on Christmas eve, Zardari said that the ongoing war against a prejudiced and intolerant mindset would be continued till Jinnah’s vision is realised in its truest spirit.

“This is a war of thought that has been created by different influences in the region. Pakistan has borne serious losses including that of Benazir Bhutto, Shahbaz Bhatti, Bashir Ahmed Bilour besides hundreds of others in its war against extremists,” the president said.

“Yet we have not given up and would continue with our endeavours to make Pakistan peaceful, tolerant and modern in its actual sense. We would not surrender before the extremists,” he reiterated.

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