ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis are celebrating 71st Independence Day today (Tuesday) with traditional fervour and enthusiasm.
All major public and private buildings, roads and avenues have been decorated with illuminations, national flags, portraits of national leaders, banners and buntings to give a festive look. Fireworks began as soon as the clock struck 12:00 am midnight.
The day dawned with thirty-one gun salute in the federal and twenty-one gun salute at the provincial capitals.
The main event of the day was a flag hoisting ceremony at Convention Center in Islamabad where President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest. At 8:59 am in the morning siren was sounded and the traffic came to standstill for one minute.
Then president hosted the national flag followed by national anthem. The president also addressed the nation on the occasion.
Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (R) Nasirul Mulk, federal ministers, speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly, parliamentarians, services chiefs, envoys of various countries and people from all walks of life graced the occasion.
Special prayers are being offered in mosques at dawn for peace, solidarity and prosperity of the country and for the resolution of long standing issue of Kashmir.
Educational institutions have arranged art exhibitions, declamation contests, national songs competitions and tableau shows.
Horse and cattle shows, folk music and stage shows, sports tournaments for children, exhibitions of fruits and vegetables have also been organized in villages, towns and cities across the country.
The services of heroes of Pakistan Movement are also being highlighted through electronic and print media on the day to pay tribute to their struggle for making Pakistan a reality.
The president, caretaker prime minister, federal ministers and other greeted the countrymen on Independence Day and said the day revives our enthusiasm as we rejuvenate our resolve to put our country on the track of progress and prosperity.
They said on this day, our devotion to honour our national flag enhances manifold as it is the day for fulfillment of our hopes and aspirations and is the time for jubilation. “Pakistan is a heaven and a blessing for the Muslims of the subcontinent and was liberated after numerous sacrifices by our forefathers. Now it is our responsibility to take our country forward on the path of progress and prosperity according to the aspirations of its founders. This requires all segments of the society to live together with harmony and brotherhood,” they remarked.
They said it is satisfactory to note that our new generation is full of patriotism, and has a sincere passion for development and progress of the country. However, he said, still there is a need to keep our children aware that why Pakistan was created, the sacrifices rendered by our sages and the dedication of Pakistan’s founders for a separate homeland.
They said it is one of the objectives of commemorating the national days to apprise the society, particularly the young generation of our national objectives and the struggle to achieve them.
They believed that the dream of taking the country to the zenith would not come true unless we singularly concentrate on our national goals and objectives. He said only by dedicatedly pursuing these principles we can materialise the dream of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal.