Riding on the wave of successes achieved in the previous years, Pakistan is entering into the new year with a renewed determination to consolidate gains, reinvigorating the national efforts for burgeoning growth and development. The year 2018 was a turning point for Pakistan. The human and material resources that had to be diverted to address the security issues and then in the rehabilitation and repair of damage incurred to the infrastructure during the last many years paid dividends. As a result of continuous efforts, Pakistan achieved progress and improvement in the security landscape in the recent years after a long fight despite the conflicts and continuing instability along the eastern and western borders. This success has shaped an environment that is conducive to the socio-economic progress and has started showing results in the form of growth and development across different segments.
We have fought a long war against terrorism, given tremendous sacrifices and suffered economically but we are now at a watershed beyond which there is either prosperity or difficult times. We have to decide whether we want to stay like this or jump on a rollercoaster of success.
The war on terror has had negative impact on social, political and economic dimensions of Pakistan. Terrorism had a direct impact with devastating consequences for the right and quality of life, liberty and integrity of the citizens as it inflicted untold damage and human suffering. In addition to the individual cost, it jeopardized the peace and security while threatening the social and economic development. Our GDP growth declined, tourism sector suffered, and foreign direct investment decreased while the stock exchange experienced a low performance.
Our Founding Fathers saw a dream about a progressive welfare state with a set of principles such as social justice and equal opportunities for upward social mobility at the disposal of every citizen. Quaid-i-Azam envisaged a progressive Pakistan unmarred by orthodoxy, intolerance and extremism; a state that would stand for peace and progress for its citizens and the outside world. Pakistan as a state catering to the needs of its citizens that is resolute to address the major challenges to our growth, resource management and poverty is on a path to win against the demons of terrorism and extremism.
If we remain resolute in our national pursuit for a peaceful, prosperous and vibrant Pakistan, 2019 shall be a year of endless opportunities, progress and prosperity. We have to keep moving forward utilizing the land fertile with abundant resources, efficient institutions and infinite talent to the best of our abilities. Together, we shall consolidate our successes.
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