ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday pledged to strengthen democratic norms of civility across party lines and tolerance for dissent.
The president’s remarks came on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day which was observed on Monday (July 18).
“On this day, we renew our pledge to strengthen democratic norms of civility across party lines, tolerance for dissent, inclusive and democratic decision-making, freedom of speech, equality before the law and social justice for the empowerment of our country and our people,” the president said in a statement.
“On this day, we pay tribute to Nelson Mandela who was an extraordinary global advocate for dignity and equality, a leader of unparalleled courage and towering achievement and one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time,” Dr Alvi said.
Says Nelson Mandela exemplified courage, commitment to freedom
He said Mr Mandela exemplified courage, compassion and commitment to freedom, peace and social justice.
“He (Mandela) lived by these principles and was prepared to sacrifice his liberty and even his life for them,” the president said.
He said that in the face of great adversity, Mr Mandela displayed extreme courage and resilience and proved that “all of us have the ability and responsibility to fight against the blight of racism, discrimination, hate, polarisation, poverty, and inequalities with positive thinking, social cohesion and forgiveness and passion to build a better future for all”.
“Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison fighting against his country’s discriminatory apartheid system of racial segregation without losing hope and finally succeeded in bringing an end to apartheid and ushered in a peaceful transition to majority rule,” he added.
Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2022