Islamabad (Staff Report/ Agencies): Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Pakistan will not be part of anyone else's war.
Addressing the main ceremony of Defence and Martyrs Day the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on Thursday, Imran Khan said our foreign policy will be in the best interest of the nation.
He said despite numerous challenges Pakistan will become a great nation of the world by strengthening of institutions and promoting meritocracy.
The PM said the government will bring meritocracy and transparency in all sectors by following the golden principles of state of Medina.
Imran Khan said Pakistan is endowed with immense resources and we are rich with minerals, diverse topography and four seasons and the only need is working honestly to realize the goal of making the country great.
He said our army is the only functioning institution in the country, for the simple reason that there is no political interference and all things are run on merit.
Appreciating the role of security forces and intelligence agencies in making the country safer against all threats, the Prime Minister said the way our forces fought against the scourge of terrorism is unparalleled.
Rejecting the impressions of civil military divide, the PM said both are on same page regarding the issues faced by the country. He said our armed forces are our asset and source of pride.
Meanwhile, addressing the ceremony, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa paid rich tribute to martyrs and their family members.
He said today was a day of solidarity with martyrs of Pakistan and that they all were united for the defence of the motherland.
The COAS said that September 6 was an important day in the country's history and that they had learnt a lot from the 1965 and 1971 wars.
"Our forces and nation have rendered sacrifices in the war against terrorism," General Bajwa said. "Our houses, schools and leaders were attacked. Efforts were made to weaken us internally.
Noting that more than 70,000 Pakistanis were martyred and injured in this war, the army chief vowed to collectively fight this menace of terrorism.
He said that enlightened nations do not forget their martyrs, adding, "We will avenge the blood flowing on the border."
General Bajwa said the country passed through a very difficult phase during the past two decades and the war is still continued.
The army chief said continuity of democracy is imperative for country's development and presence of leadership of various political parties in today's ceremony is a testimony that democracy has taken roots in Pakistan.
He said the entire nation is more determined and united than ever.
Remembering sacrifices of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir, General Bajwa paid glowing tribute to their sacrifices in their struggle against the Indian oppression.
The COAS also thanked the Prime Minister, federal ministers, politicians, diplomats, and families of martyrs for attending the ceremony.
Families of martyrs, members of the federal cabinet, heads of political parties, lawmakers and celebrities were also among the attendees at the ceremony.
Earlier on Thursday, the nation commemorated Defence and Martyr Day with traditional fervour and solemnity across the country, beginning with special prayers for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.
Change of guard ceremonies were held at the mausoleums of Allama Iqbal in Lahore and Quaid-i-Azam in Karachi, and a ceremony at the Pakistan Navy headquarters in Islamabad.