ISLAMABAD, Aug 13: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in their messages on the 65th Independence Day being commemorated today (Sunday) congratulated the nation and urged countrymen to forge unity among their ranks to counter challenges being faced by the country.

President Asif Ali Zardari said: “On this day there is also a thought that sometimes bites the soul; could we have not achieved much more if the democratic process had not been repeatedly subverted and the constitution had not been abrogated and held in abeyance by the dictators.”

“It is also sad thought on this day that the pillars of the state validated the subversion of the Constitution. The nation can take pride that it has closed that sorry chapter. Let us pledge that we will never allow the subversion of the Constitution and the democratic process,” he said.

The president said: “We are witnessing the power of democracy in action. Let us collectively employ the democratic power in the service of the country and the people.”

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in his message said Pakistan has successfully taken on the challenge of terrorism and extremism under the democratic government in line with national interests and global commitment. It is a 'defining phase' as many positive developments have taken place in the country, which have the potential of putting our polity back on track as envisaged by the founding father, the prime minister said.

“With the support of the people, the government has made significant strides in fighting out terrorism,” he said.—Our Reporter