Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday declared a public holiday throughout the country on May 28 on account of Youm-i-Takbeer, the day when Pakistan’s defence became impregnable after nuclear tests in the hills of Chagai, Balochistan in 1998.

The announcement was made in a notification, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, issued by the cabinet secretariat.

Youm-i-Takbeer is observed on May 28, marking the historic day when Pakistan became an atomic power.

“Youm-i-Takbeer reminds how the entire Pakistani nation got united on that day to make the country’s defence invincible,” the prime minister said in a statement issued by the PM House.

On the day in 1998, he said, the nation decided that there would be no compromise on the country’s integrity and defence by not yielding to any external pressure.

Both political and defence forces were united on the day under the National Flag to strengthen the country’s defence, he said.

PM Shehbaz said it was the day of renewing the pledge that “we will always remain ready to thwart the nefarious designs of external and internal enemies, who want to endanger the country.

“May 28 is also the day of paying tributes to the steps taken by the then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Army to make the national defence invincible.

“We also pay tribute to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for initiating the atomic programme and the scientists who played a key role in continuing it,” the prime minister remarked.

He said on the day, the entire nation, including himself, resolved that the way the national defence was made invincible on May 28, 1998, “we will [similarly] make the country’s economical stable and prosper through sheer hard work.

“Let’s make a pledge on this day that by following the principles of unity, faith and discipline, we will foil all the nefarious designs of not only the external enemies but also the local elements who are out to create chaos and anarchy in the country through their malicious actions like the incidents of May 9.”

A day of renewing pledge to make country’s defence impregnable: Kundi

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Faisal Karim Kundi congratulated the nation on Youm-i-Takbeer and said that it was a “day of survival, loyalty, and renewal [of] pledge to make the country’s defence impregnable”.

In his message, Kundi recalled that after the Indian nuclear tests, then-prime minister Bhutto decided to make Pakistan a nuclear power not only in South Asia but also in the Islamic world.

The decision of of the former premier gave Pakistan a prominent place in the committee of nations which can never be forgotten in history, Kundi said.

“Today, I would like to say to the people of the country, especially to the youth that they should always stand with the state and its institutions for the defence and stability of their country,” he said.

AJK to mark 26th anniversary of nuclear tests with full zeal

Special ceremonies will be held, and speakers will recall the historical background of the tests in Azad Jammu and Kashmir to commemorate the 26th anniversary of Youm-i-Takbeer.

PML-N AJK President Shah Ghulam Qadir urged party workers to organise special ceremonies at all district headquarters in AJK.

The events will honour Nawaz for his role in making Pakistan a nuclear power.

In Mirpur, a grand ceremony will be held at the office complex of local PML-N leader and former minister Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed at the Toyota Azad Motors Building.

In other parts of Azad Jammu Kashmir, similar ceremonies will be observed to commemorate the historic tests.

Amin Chaudhry, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Jinnah Foundation, highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to global peace and stability.

He emphasised that Pakistan had always contributed to international efforts for arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, adhering to the highest standards of nuclear safety and security.

Every year, the nation pays tributes to the contributions of its scientists, engineers and technicians to ensure the security and development of Pakistan, he added.

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