ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis are celebrating the 72nd Independence Day with traditional zeal and fervour, with commemorative ceremonies held in cities across the country.
The day-long festivities began with thanksgiving prayers and the hoisting of the national flag at all important public buildings in the country, which had been decorated with bunting and lights ahead of August 14.
The day began with a 31-gun salute in the capital, followed by 21-gun salutes in all four provincial capitals.
The main ceremony was hosted at Islamabad’s Jinnah Convention Centre, where President Mamnoon Hussain hoisted the national flag. The ceremony was also attended by caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, the three chiefs of the armed forces and other notable personalities and foreign dignitaries.
Flag hoisting ceremonies were held in the provincial capitals as well as district headquarters.
Change-of-guard ceremonies were also held at the mausoleums of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal in Karachi and Lahore, respectively.
Pakistan Rangers officials at the Wagah border crossing exchanged sweets with Indian Border Security Force personnel.
People across the country flocked to stalls that lined up streets to purchase national flags in different sizes, t-shirts, badges and other merchandise to display their national pride.
President, PM’s messages on independence day
In their separate messages, President Mamnoon and Prime Minister Mulk extended felicitations to the nation on occasion of the 72nd independence day, Radio Pakistan reported. The day of Aug 14 reinforces the people’s resolve to work for the progress of their country, they said.
Terming Pakistan a blessing of Allah, Mamnoon said Pakistan can overcome the economic problems and other issues it is facing by only following the teachings of the Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal in their true spirit.
In his message, the prime minister said the occasion “reminds us of the epic democratic struggle of our forefathers for securing a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent where they could fashion their lives according to their religious, cultural and social values,” according to Radio Pakistan.
An unwavering commitment to the ideals of the Quaid and implementing the principle of ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’ will help the country overcome its challenges and make it a self-reliant, economically vibrant and prosperous state.(DawnNews)