Quaid-i-Azam, in February 1948, said, “Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fairplay in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nation’s charter.”
Rightly displaying this spirit, and the will and commitment to Quaid’s vision, the entire nation celebrated “Pakistan Day” on March 23, 2018. Our slogan ‘Pakistan, the land of peace’ is both a pledge and a promise to the Quaid’s words. The Joint Services’ military parade aptly depicted both resolve and our commitment towards peace and security of the country. The soldiers’ professional excellence, state-of-the-art indigenously manufactured military weapons and equipment, and diverse capabilities to respond to any threat to our territorial integrity and sovereignty displayed during the parade are not instruments of any aggressive design but of peace and stability. Our words are sincere, and our actions reflect unity of purpose that is only aimed at peace within Pakistan, and peace around the world we live in. Pakistan has, over time, substantially proved how we have stood for peace since the very inception.
Pakistan has participated in 41 UN Peacekeeping missions and 156 Pakistani peacekeepers have sacrificed their lives, which includes 23 officers, for the noble cause of helping various countries navigate their path from conflict to peace. Peacekeepers from Pakistan have served in some of the most complex and difficult regions in the world, risking their lives to build peace and stability, notwithstanding the massive and comprehensive counter-terrorism operations that had to be conducted within our own country to achieve peace. Pakistan continues to participate in the peacekeeping mission abroad with the same commitment and dedication since it began participating in the mission in July 1960. Ever since, 1,69,000 Pakistani personnel have served in 23 countries with professionalism and distinction.
Pakistan has hosted Afghan refugees and has accommodated them despite them being used against the state. In the War against Terror, the spaces being used and exploited by terrorists were mostly based in Afghanistan as terrorism poured over from the porous Pak-Afghan border. According to an estimate over two million Afghan refugees including 1.3 million registered and at least 600,000 unregistered are still residing in Pakistan. Pakistan has and will remain committed to playing a constructive role towards the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process not only to protect its citizens, but also for regional and global peace and security.
The participation of foreign contingents in Pakistan Day Parade is a reflection of our standing in the comity of nations as a responsible state. The propaganda of Pakistan’s isolation trumpeted by the enemies has come to naught. There are agreements and disagreements based around rational policy choices and pursuit, but today’s Pakistan stands fully aligned with the agenda of collective peace and security. The actions of external powers have an influence on the peace and security situation in Pakistan. We have conveyed and proved our commitment to peace time and again but at the same time have made it clear that aggression will not be accepted. Pakistan holds dear its national pride, is capable of defending the country and has demonstrated exceptional commitment and fortitude to counter threats including terrorism.
The steadfast Pakistani nation is forever united in its resoluteness to promote peace within the country and across the globe.