ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government is committed to ensuring empowerment of women as their participation in all walks of life is necessary for sustainable development. “This is our national duty to protect the interests of women and provide them equal opportunities without any discrimination. I reaffirm my pledge for protection of women’s rights in the country to make them valuable citizens and productive members of the society,” said the prime minister in his message on International Women Day. Being a state party to the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Pakistan was committed to implement its provisions. PM Nawaz said he felt pride in stating that Pakistani women were participating in all sectors and many of them had excelled in their respective fields.