ISLAMABAD: In his message of felicitation to the nation on the eve of New Year, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq expressed his hope that the dawn of 2018 will usher Pakistan into an year of sustained economic growth coupled with uplift of the common man and consolidation of democracy.

The upcoming year will “surely bear witness to the fact that we have decisively turned a page in our history and have embarked upon our national journey afresh with the resolve to overcome the challenges of the era”, he said.

The speaker reiterated the resolve of the government to usher in an inclusive democracy dedicated to the uplift of the downtrodden and marginalised segments of society.

He remarked that the days of terrorism in Pakistan were numbered and expressed his confidence that 2018 would consolidate Pakistan’s march towards peace and prosperity.

Mr Sadiq paid rich tribute to the armed forces and law enforcement agencies working for the defence, integrity and security of Pakistan and added that the nation stood in solidarity with the families of martyrs.

Referring to Pakistan’s challenges, he said the resilient Pakistani state and society would overcome the problems and urged his fellow countrymen to shun all the differences and unite under the banner of faith, unity and discipline as espoused by the founding father, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

He underlined the need for promoting religious harmony and interfaith dialogue to pursue the ideals of equitable development and mutual coexistence as central elements for a pluralistic Pakistani state.

The speaker was hopeful that Pakistan would continue to reverse the tides of poverty by equipping the youth with employable skills and spirit of entrepreneurship.

Referring to Pakistan’s regional objectives, he highlighted the country was committed to a peaceful South Asia and would continue to cooperate with other regional players for peace in the region.

The deputy speaker of the assembly, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, also felicitated the nation on the advent of New Year and expressed the hope that the year would bring happiness, joy and relief from sorrows. He was confident that 2018 would prove to be an year of peace, stability and harmony in the region and beyond.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2018