ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday credited his government for turning the country into a welfare state through various pro-poor programmes.

President Dr Arif Alvi, in his separate message on the occasion of Pakistan Day, paid rich tribute to frontline health workers for putting their lives in danger to save Covid-19 patients.

Through a series of tweets, PM Khan said: “81 years ago today our Quaid gave us the dream for Pakistan as envisioned by the great philosopher and poet Iqbal and based on these Riyasat-e-Madina principles.”

He further tweeted: “So far we have been unable to achieve our great potential because we lost sight of our Quaid’s vision. Today Pakistan is back on track to realise that ideal by bringing the powerful under rule of law and setting up a welfare state with our programme of Ehsaas, Panagahs and health cards.”

The prime minister said 15 centuries ago Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) set up the first welfare state in Madina, based on rule of law, meritocracy, compassion and tolerance, and where quest for knowledge was made a sacred duty.

In a couple of decades, Muslims became the greatest civilisation for the next few centuries, he said. However, he added, when the Muslims moved away from those guiding principles, their civilisation decayed and declined.

Earlier, in his message on the occasion of Pakistan Day, the prime minister said his government’s vision was to transform Pakistan into a truly democratic welfare state on the model of Riyasat-i-Madina.

“Today, let us renew our commitment to make Pakistan a humane, progressive and prosperous state akin to Riyasat-e-Madina based on rule of law, meritocracy, egalitarianism and compassion,” he added.

He said March 23, 1940 was a momentous occasion when the Muslims of the subcontinent decided to establish a separate homeland to free themselves from the shackles of oppression and slavery of the Hindutva mindset.

“Today, we pay tribute to the Father of the Nation and all the leaders of the Independence Movement who united Muslims of British India and struggled for creation of a free and independent Muslim state. The struggle culminated in the emergence of Pakistan on the map of the world on 14th August, 1947,” he added.

The prime minister said that while commemorating the day, they needed to adhere to the principles of unity, faith and discipline given by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

“Our great nation has successfully overcome challenges of immense magnitude in past through unity and resilience. Today, we need to remain strong to face the pandemic that has engulfed the entire world. InshaAllah, we will succeed in these testing times,” he added.

The prime minister also expressed solidarity with the innocent people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir who have been subjected to the worst form of state oppression by Indian security forces.

“We salute their courage and will continue to support them morally, politically and diplomatically for realisation of their right to self-determination under relevant UNSC resolutions,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi paid tribute to frontline health workers who risked their lives to save people infected by coronavirus.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2021

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