–IOK observes Thanksgiving Day with enthusiasm
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan celebrated Independence Day on Friday with traditional zeal and fervour, renewing a pledge to work with the spirit of the Pakistan Movement to make the country a true Islamic welfare state.
Special prayers were offered for the security and progress of Pakistan and the well-being of the people. The national flag was hoisted at all important public and private buildings.
The main feature of the celebrations was the national flag hoisting ceremonies at President House, Islamabad, and provincial, divisional, and district headquarters throughout the country.
Public and private buildings, as well as streets, bazaars, and markets, were profusely illuminated and decorated with national flags, portraits of founding fathers, and posters.
In Lahore, a special ceremony was held in connection with Independence Day at Hazoori Bagh where Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar hoisted the national flag. The day dawned with a 21-gun salute in the provincial metropolis followed by a graceful change of guard ceremony at Mazar-e-Iqbal. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Army assumed the guard duties at the Mazar-e-Iqbal.
In Karachi, the main event of a change of guard ceremony took place at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. A smartly turned out contingent includes 64 cadets of Pakistan Navy who assume the honorary guard duties. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, cabinet members, and other high ranking officials attended the ceremony.
The celebrations ended in the provincial capital with 21 gun-salutes while special prayers were offered at mosques for the country’s safety, prosperity, and development.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the main function in connection with 73rd Independence Day was held at Police Lines, Peshawar. Chief Minister Mahmood Khan hoisted the national flag at the ceremony. Collective prayers were made for the development and prosperity of the country and the liberation of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Flag hoisting ceremonies were also held at divisional and district administration offices across the province. Earlier in the morning, twenty-one gun salutes were fired in Peshawar to mark Independence Day.
In Quetta, the main flag hoisting ceremony was held at the lawn of the Balochistan Assembly where Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan hoisted the national flag. The day was dawn with twenty-one gun salutes in the provincial capital while special prayers were offered for the progress and prosperity of the country. The flag hoisting ceremonies were also held at Governor House Quetta, Balochistan High Court, and Radio Pakistan Quetta Station.
In Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), the main flag hoisting ceremony of the Independence Day was held at the President House in Muzaffarabad. President Sardar Masood Khan hoisted the national flag. Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, cabinet and legislative assembly members, notables of the city, and other high-ranking civil and military officials attended the ceremony. National anthems of both Pakistan and AJK were played while a smart contingent of police presented salute. Earlier, the day dawned with 21 gun salutes in the state capital Muzaffarabad.
In Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), the main flag hoisting ceremony was held in the historic Chinar Garden in Gilgit. Caretaker Chief Minister Mir Afzal Khan hoisted the national flag and laid a wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada. A smartly turned out contingent of GB police presented guard of honor at Yadgar. CM on the occasion unveiled a new political map of Pakistan in Chinar Garden. Soon after the ceremony, the Azadi rally was brought out from City Park which passed through the main road culminating at Public Chowk in Jutial, Gilgit.
In IOK, the people celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day as a thanksgiving day with great enthusiasm, devotion, and respect. Call for observance of the Thanksgiving Day was given by All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and supported by various Hurriyat leaders and organisations. The APHC in a statement in Srinagar maintained that Pakistan has always supported the Kashmiris’ just struggle for securing their right to self-determination.
It is worth mentioning here that in IOK, Kashmiris will mark India’s Independence Day on Saturday as Black Day.