ISLAMABAD: (APP) Following is the text of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif's message on Defence Day (September 6):
"The September 6 will be remembered as an ardent and ferven occasion. On this day, our brave armed forces in shoulder-to-shoulder with the nation had given a clear message of protecting the independence of country, by defeating the enemies.
No doubt, the sacrifices of the officials and jawans of our armed forces have enliven our sovereignty, for which the whole nation pay tribute to them. We are proud of the professionalism and bravery of our armed forces.
The fast-changing global scenario, internal and external conspiracies and terrorism are the challenges that demand strong defence, besides showing unity within our ranks and faith. We are proud that we did not overlook this fact and our defence capability meets the contemporary needs.
We have attained self-reliance in production of advanced weapons. Hatf missile series, Al Khalid and Zarrar tanks, JF-17 Thunder aircraft, Agosta submarines and the foremost of all, our nuclear capability is the hallmark of our strong defence.
With a strong defence, we have ensured peace in South Asia by maintaining a strategic balance. We do not want to join the arms race in the region, however, will continue to ensure balance in the region.
Our defence capability is in fact reflective of our nation's courage, steadfastness and determination and shows that how capable it is to face difficult situations.
Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a continuation of this conviction, which has resulted in containing terrorists due to will of our political leadership, determination of nation, and sacrifices and professionalism of armed forces and security institutions.
Alhamdolillah (Thanks to Allah), today the improved situation of law and order in our country is encouraging. To maintain this, there is a need to adopt an approach by rising above political and personal interests.
No doubt, economic progress is essential for national defence and solidarity. We are fully focusing on mega projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the related projects of infrastructure and energy.
The completion of these projects will ensure economic stability, and will ultimately result in strong defence. Increased trade relations with Central Asian states and East Asia will make Pakistan an economic power of the region.
On this historic day, I also condemn the Indian barbarity in Occupied Kashmir. We have a clear stance on Kashmir and believe that the solution of this issue only lies in implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people. The voice of Kashmiris cannot be silenced through aggression, nor they can be deprived of their right to self-determination. Pakistan will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people.
By paying tribute to the martyrs of our country, we reiterate that we will not deter from sacrificing for Pakistan's solidarity and honour.