ISLAMABAD (APP) – President Mamnoon Hussain Sunday said Pakistan’s future was in a strong democracy that would ensure progress, prosperity and development of the country.

Addressing a ceremony to mark the 70th Independence Day of the country here at the Jinnah Convention Centre, the President urged the nation to work selflessly with the same zeal of independence struggle to confront the challenges ahead.

The president recalled that Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah believed that democracy was part of life of a Muslim and was the way forward.

The President said Operation Zarb-e-Azb under the National Action Plan has produced encouraging results, and it will continue until its logical conclusion.

He said the recent terrorist incident in Quetta has aggrieved the entire nation, and every Pakistani has sympathies with the bereaved families.

He said the blood of the martyrs of Quetta will not go in waste. Hussain said the plot of the enemy needs to be understood and the mutual differences should not be provoked. National unity, democracy, and strong defense will lead to progress and stability in the country.

He said the nation is standing by the armed forces in the ongoing war on terror, and it pays tribute to their services for the nation.

He said a national agenda will have to be pursued for improving law and order situation and maintaining economic stability. He said the government has achieved successes in respect of security situation, economy, and development, and will continue its journey of progress and prosperity.

The president said Pakistan cannot forget the Kashmiris on this occasion, and will continue supporting them for their just struggle to self-determination in accordance with the UN resolutions.

Earlier, the President along with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif unfurled the national flag. Sirens were also played at 8:59 am, and all the moving traffic on road, air, and sea came to a halt for one minute.