Independence Day ‘reminds us of immense sacrifices rendered by our forefathers’

Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Muslim League leaders in Quetta on a visit to Baluchistan in the early days of Pakistan after winning its independence from British rule. (Supplied)
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Updated 14 August 2020

Independence Day ‘reminds us of immense sacrifices rendered by our forefathers’

I wish to extend my heartiest felicitations to my fellow countrymen on Pakistan’s 74th Independence Day.




President Arif Alvi

This day reminds us of the immense sacrifices rendered by our forefathers, under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The day is an occasion to reaffirm our resolve to live up to the ideals of our founding fathers and pay homage to the heroic struggle of all workers of the Pakistan Movement.

Unlike the past, this Independence Day is being celebrated in extraordinarily difficult times as the entire world has been affected by coronavirus, which has had an adverse impact on all sectors of life, including the economy, health, and education.

The pandemic has brought enormous challenges but we have seen that our resilient nation has overcome them with a brilliant strategy of smart lockdown.

We must continue with the precautions.

We have seen such challenges in the past, like the earthquake in October 2005 and heavy floods in 2010.

On this auspicious occasion, let me appreciate the spirit of our countrymen who exhibited extreme unity and generously helped the victims of natural calamities.

On this historic day, I must pay tribute to our doctors, nurses, and health care workers who saved people’s lives by putting their own lives at risk during the pandemic.

Additionally, I also deeply admire the role of media, Ulema, NDMA, NCOC, provincial governments, and law enforcement agencies in creating awareness and helping enforce the SOPs with regard to COVID-19.

The success of the Ehsaas Program underlines the fact that people unite when all segments are taken care of. 

Our economy is improving in every regard and I am sure that we have reached a tipping point in this regard.

As we commemorate this Independence Day, we should not forget our brothers and sisters of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) who have been subjected to harsh brutalities by Indian security forces. India has been committing gross human rights violations for over three decades and has intensified its brutalization with extra-judicial killings of innocent people in fake encounters since the imposition of lockdown on August 5, 2019.

India is targeting all minorities and wants to impose Hindutva ideology in the country but these oppressive measures would further enhance hatred and resentment against her.

I assure the resilient people of IIOJK that Pakistan will continue to support them in their just struggle for their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

While felicitating the nation, I call upon every Pakistani to stand firm and work for the progress and prosperity of the country.

We need to stand united to meet the social, economic and security challenges being confronted by the nation.  

Pakistan Paindabad.

 

Dr. Arif Alvi
President of Pakistan


France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

Updated 19 September 2020

France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

  • Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a ‘double standard’ by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members

JEDDAH: France on Friday backed Cyprus’ calls for the EU to consider imposing tougher sanctions on Turkey if the Turkish government won’t suspend its search for energy reserves in eastern Mediterranean waters where Cyprus and Greece claim exclusive economic rights.

French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune said sanctions should be among the options the 27-member bloc considers employing if Turkey continues to “endanger the security and sovereignty of a member state.”

“But we consider that the union should also be ready to use all the instruments at its disposal, among them one of sanctions, if the situation didn’t evolve positively,” Beaune said after talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia.

A European Parliament resolution has called for sanctions against Turkey unless it showed “sincere cooperation and concrete progress” in defusing tensions with Greece and Cyprus.

Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey and now analyst at Carnegie Europe, said the resolution reflected the views of a democratically elected parliament from across the bloc. “This is not ‘country X against country Y,’ it is the aggregated view of the European Parliament,” he told Arab News.

EU leaders are set to hold a summit in a few days to discuss how to respond to Turkey prospecting in areas of the sea that Greece and Cyprus insist are only theirs to explore.

Turkey triggered a naval stand-off with NATO ally Greece after dispatching a warship-escorted research vessel in a part of the eastern Mediterranean that Greece says is over its continental shelf. Greece deployed its own warship and naval patrols in response.

Greek and Turkish military officers are also holding talks at NATO headquarters to work out ways of ensuring that any standoff at sea doesn’t descend into open conflict.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey’s withdrawal of its survey ship and warship escorts was a positive step, but that Greece needs to make sure Ankara is sincere.

He said a list of sanctions will be put before EU leaders at next week’s summit and whether they’ll be implemented will depend on Turkey’s actions. “I’m hoping that it won’t become necessary to reach that point,” Dendias said.

Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a “double standard” by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud and police brutality while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members.

Meanwhile, the EU is set to announce sanctions on Monday against three companies from Turkey, Jordan and Kazakhstan which are accused of violating a UN arms embargo on Libya, diplomats told AFP.