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Achievements of the first year -A firm basis for optimism (14 Aug 1948)

Message to the Nation on the occasion of the first Anniversary of Pakistan on 14th August, 1948.

Citizens of Pakistan,

Today we are celebrating the first anniversary of our freedom. A year ago complete power was transferred to the people of Pakistan, and the Pakistan Government, under the present Constitution as adapted, took over charge of the affairs of the country in its own hands. We have faced the year with courage, determination and imagination, and the record of our achievements has been a wonderful one in warding off the blows of the enemy which have been so often referred to before, especially the pre-planned genocide and pushing on with real constructive work internally. The result of our constructive and ameliorative work has gone far beyond the expectations of our best friends. I congratulate you all–my Ministers under the leadership of the Prime Minister, members of the Constituent Assembly and of the legislatures; officials working in various administrative departments and the members of the Defence Forces for what you have achieved during so short a period, and I thank the people of Pakistan from whom we have received patience and genuine support in every effort that we have made to put forward the program of the first year.

But that is not enough: Remember, that the establishment of Pakistan is a fact of which there is no parallel in the history of the world. It is one of the largest Muslim States in the world, and it is destined to play its magnificent part year after year, as we go on, provided we serve Pakistan honestly, earnestly and selflessly.

I have full faith in my people that they will rise to every occasion worthy of our past Islamic history, glory and traditions.

The story of the millions of refugees who had to flee from their homes across our borders and seek asylum in Pakistan is well known to you all. The tragedy occurred even before our State had had time to settle down. In fact it involved also a large proportion of the people who as Government personnel, were to set up the very machinery of the State. I know that it has not been possible to do all that might have been desired for these homeless and oppressed brethren of ours. There are still many hardships that many of them have to face. But the every fact that a large number of the refugees have already been rehabilitated in their new home, with the prospect of new and a happier life ahead of them, is an achievement of no mean order. But for the spirit of brotherhood shown by the people of Pakistan and the courage with which the people as well as the Government faced the almost overwhelming difficulties created by a catastrophe unparalleled in the history of the world, the entire structure of the State might well have crumbled down.

Disappointed in their efforts by other means to strangle the new State at its very birth, our enemies yet hoped that economic manoeuvres would achieve the object they had at heart. With all the wealth of argument and detail, which malice could invent or ill-will devise, they prophesied that Pakistan would be left bankrupt. And what the fire and sword of the enemy could not achieve, would be brought about by the ruined finances of the State. But these prophets of evil have been thoroughly discredited. Our first budget was a surplus one; there is a favourable balance of trade, and a steady and all-round improvement in the economic field.

One year is a brief period in the history of a State for finally assessing its progress or predicting its future. But the way in which tremendous difficulties have been overcome, and solid progress recorded during the last twelve months, gives a firm basis for optimism. In the administrative field, we had to start from scratch; art the center. And in the West Punjab, at the very inception of our State, we had to face very nearly a breakdown of administrative machinery. But I am glad to say that we have successfully dealt with all threats to our solidarity, and on some major questions of the day, the Pakistan Government has displayed not only its determination but its capacity to deal effectively with the various world problems that have arisen from time to time.

Nature has given you everything: you have got unlimited resources. The foundations of your State have been laid, and it is now for you to build, and build as quickly and as well as you can. So go ahead and I wish you Godspeed.

Pakistan Zindabad

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