–Mamnoon sees hidden message for nation as independence day and general election have come around same time this year
–President reiterates support for Kashmiris, urges nation to rise above personal differences for country’s development
ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis across the country and in other parts of the world celebrated the country’s 72nd Independence Day on Tuesday with traditional fervour and enthusiasm, as President Mamnoon Hussain emphasised on the “power of vote” in his address on the occasion.
Observing that the independence day and general election had fallen around the same time this year, President Mamnoon said while addressing an audience at the Convention Centre in the federal capital that he thinks a message is hidden between the two events.
“It is a reminder that the way this country had come into being with the people’s will, in the same manner, the decisions regarding its fate will be made through the vote,” he said, adding that the Pakistani nation had stamped this very principle on July 25.
SUPPORT FOR KASHMIRIS:
Mamnoon paid tribute to the sacrifices of the sons and daughters of the soil in establishing peace in the country and reiterated Pakistan’s unswerving political and moral support for Kashmiris in Indian-occupied valley.
“Pakistan will continue to provide its political and moral support to resolve the Kashmir issue under United Nations resolutions,” Mamnoon said. He called upon the international community to raise its voice to get the Kashmiri people their due rights.
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-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal in their true spirit.”
The president further said, “The objective behind the formation of the country was to free humans from the slavery of other humans so they could live their lives freely without fear of exploitation.”
He said despite significant progress, “Pakistan has yet to reach its destiny and that a consensus about national objectives is imperative to achieve the goals.”
President Mamnoon also urged the nation “to rise above its personal and factional differences and follow the Quaid’s vision and principles for a prosperous Pakistan”.
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.
Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy Commodore Waqar Muhammad was the chief guest at the ceremony.
In Punjab, interim Chief Minister Hassan Askar hoisted the national flag and eulogised national heroes. A change of guard ceremony was held at Mazar-e-Iqbal that saw Pakistan Army taking charge from Punjab Rangers.
Acting Sindh Governor Agha Siraj Durrani and caretaker Chief Minister Fazlur Rehman visited the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi and placed a floral wreath at his grave.
In their separate messages, both the president and the caretaker prime minister extended wishes to the nation on the occasion.
“The day of Aug 14 reinforces the people’s resolve to work for the progress of their country,” they said.
PM RECALLS DEMOCRATIC STRUGGLE:
In his message, the caretaker 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.”
He also said that 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.
NAWAZ CELEBRATES WITH ADIALA INMATES:
Former PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz celebrated the Independence Day with the prisoners at Adiala Jail by cutting and distributing cakes.
According to reports, on the desire of Nawaz, his daughter and other prisoners cut a cake in his lock-up. While expressing delight, the inmates chanted slogans in favour of the PML-N supremo.
SWEETS SHARED ACROSS BORDER:
As the clock struck midnight, fireworks began across the country and buildings were lit up to commemorate the occasion. The morning dawned with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in all four-provincial headquarters.
During the change-of-guard ceremonies were held at the mausoleums of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal in Karachi and Lahore, respectively, where cadets of Pakistan Navy took charge of their duties.
Pakistan Rangers officials at the Wagah border crossing exchanged sweets with Indian Border Security Force personnel.
Special prayers were offered in mosques at dawn for peace, solidarity, and prosperity of the country and for the resolution of the long-standing issue of Kashmir.
In educational institutions, exhibitions, declamation contests, national songs, competitions and tableau shows are being held to mark the day.
Flag hoisting, fireworks and cake cutting ceremonies were held in all districts of Gilgit Baltistan while national anthem and songs were presented by schools and college students.
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.
PAKISTAN’S INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATED WORLDWIDE:
The Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated with spirit and enthusiasm at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. The Pakistan flag was raised by Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood at an elegant and impressive flag-hoisting ceremony held on the Chancery’s lawns, a message reaching here from New Delhi said. He noted that peaceful relations with all of Pakistan’s neighbors, including India, were accorded high priority in the foreign policy vision outlined by the incoming leadership in Pakistan.
He said the phone call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chairman PTI Imran Khan was another positive development. It was being hoped that such steps on both sides would create the space for the betterment of ties between India and Pakistan.
The I-Day celebrations were held in the United States (US) where Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, in his message to the nation, said the nation must remember the sacrifices of forefathers.
A flag hoisting ceremony was held at Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka where a large number of Pakistan community in Bangladesh, officers, officials and their family members participated in the ceremony.
A simple yet dignified flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Pakistan Embassy in Paris to celebrate the country’s Independence Day.
Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah also celebrated the day with national zeal and fervour. The 72nd Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated in Ankara with traditional fervor.
Celebrations were also held at the Pakistani Embassy in China in light of Independence Day. The ceremony was inaugurated by Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid by hoisting the country’s flag.
Like other parts of the globe, the 71st Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated across the United Kingdom (UK) by British Pakistanis with zeal. To mark the auspicious occasion, a flag hoisting ceremony was held here at the Pakistan High Commission, London.