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A look back at 14 August through newspaper pages

Go through the archives of daily Dawn from 1947 till 2018 to see how Independence Day was marked then.
Updated Aug 14, 2019 07:10pm

This year, as Pakistan marks its first Independence Day under the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the country is observing August 14 as Kashmir Solidarity Day.

The government has unveiled a special logo “Kashmir banega Pakistan (Kashmir will become part of Pakistan)” lettered in red to go along with the theme of Kashmir Solidarity Day.

Here, Dawn.com looks back at the archives of daily Dawn from 1947 till 2018, particularly the years when a new leadership came to power, to bring readers a snapshot of how Independence Day was marked then.

1947

The day after Pakistan was created the front page of Dawn read 'Birth of Pakistan an event in history'.

Front of Dawn on August 15, 1947. — Dawn Archives
Front of Dawn on August 15, 1947. — Dawn Archives

"Amidst unprecedented scenes of splendour and colour in this festive capital city of the new dominion, the viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, addresses this morning the constituent assembly of Pakistan — a dominion, fifth largest in the world with 70 million inhabitants — on the eve of its attaining completing freedom within 14 hours hence."

August 15, 1947. — Dawn Archives
August 15, 1947. — Dawn Archives

Read: First Independence Day


1948

In August 1948, Liaquat Ali Khan was serving as Pakistan's first prime minister. At the time, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the Governor General of Pakistan.

In a celebration of Pakistan's first year as a nation, a message from Jinnah was expected to be shared with the nation, while the premier was also expected to "address a mass meeting".

Front page of Dawn on August 14,1948. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14,1948. — Dawn Archives

"Prayer will be the keynote of the day and from all communities citizens will attend their mosques, temples and churches to offer thanksgiving for the achievements of the year that has passed and to pray for the success of the State in the difficult times which lie ahead."

Special report: The legendary Liaquat 1895-1951


1951

Khan was assassinated on October 16, 1951. Following his death, Khwaja Nazimuddin, who succeeded Jinnah as governor general, accepted the decision of the Pakistan Cabinet to step down in order to take over the mantle of the prime minister.

An illustration on August 14, 1951. — Dawn Archives
An illustration on August 14, 1951. — Dawn Archives

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1951. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1951. — Dawn Archives


1953

Mohammad Ali Bogra then succeeded Nazimuddin in 1953. Bogra was serving as Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States when Governor-General Ghulam Mohammad nominated him to be the prime minister.

Read: The forgotten leader

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1953. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1953. — Dawn Archives

In 1953, Independence Day celebrations were "shorn of all festivity" which a newspaper article on August 14, 1953 said was "as a mark of sympathy with the people of Kashmir".

Another article in the same paper was titled 'Revolt spreads in Occupied Kashmir'.

In August 1955, Iskander Mirza took charge as the fourth governor general of Pakistan and dismissed Bogra. On March 23, 1956, he became the first president of Pakistan.


1957

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1957. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1957. — Dawn Archives

August 14, 1957 marked the tenth anniversary of Pakistan's independence. An article published on the day said: "The day will be observed as a public holiday and mass meetings and rallies will be held throughout the country."

It added that in Karachi, the capital of Pakistan at the time, the day would begin with the firing of 31 guns.


1958

On March 27, 1958, President Iskander Mirza handed over power to a military ruler, Gen Ayub Khan, who continued in office for 11 years till March 25, 1969.

An ad by Hotel Metropole on August 14, 1958. — Dawn Archives
An ad by Hotel Metropole on August 14, 1958. — Dawn Archives

The 'Special report: The Changing of the Guard 1958-1969' published in 2017 said that Gen Ayub's decade from 1958 to 1969 was "foundational in numerous critical ways and set the direction for Pakistan for years to come. It gave rise to models of military dictatorship, to US dependence, regional imbalances and the over-centralisation of government".

"Often known as the ‘Decade of Development’, as ‘Pakistan’s Golden Years’ of a ‘Socially Liberal Military Dictatorship’, Pakistan’s first military dictator laid the foundations of a capitalist economy under military rule."


1959

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1959.  — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1959. — Dawn Archives

According to the front page of Dawn on August 14, 1959, the then president Gen Ayub had assured people that the government would do "all in its power to meet the menace of the floods" that had hit the country at the time.

The same front page also included an Independence Day message from Quaid-i-Azam's sister Fatima Jinnah.

In her message for the day, she asked Pakistanis "always to keep before their mind's eye the ideal and objective for which Pakistan came into being".

"Freedom is a tender plant; it needs nursing and constant vigilance," she told her countrymen in an Independence Day message yesterday"

An ad for Pakistan International Airlines on August 14, 1959. — Dawn Archives
An ad for Pakistan International Airlines on August 14, 1959. — Dawn Archives

An article clipping from August 16, 1959.  — Dawn Archives
An article clipping from August 16, 1959. — Dawn Archives

A message from Gen Ayub was published on August 16, 1959:

"For a dynamic, forward-looking people, freedom presented a wonderful opportunity, and a great challenge. Only if the people faced this challenge by meeting their obligations as individuals, as members of society and above all, as citizens of the State, can we succeed in building a strong and healthy Pakistan such as the Father of the Nation visualised."


1961

On August 14, 1961, the president Ayub Khan "prayed for the independence of Kashmir, Algeria, Palestine and for the protection of Muslims all over the world".

An article clipping from August 14, 1961. — Dawn Archives
An article clipping from August 14, 1961. — Dawn Archives


1969

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1969. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1969. — Dawn Archives

In 1969, Ayub resigned, handing over power to General Yahya Khan who immediately imposed the country's second martial law.

Read: Exit stage left: the movement against Ayub Khan


1971

An article clipping from August 14,1971. — Dawn Archives
An article clipping from August 14,1971. — Dawn Archives

In his message to the nation on Independence Day in 1971, Yahya "called upon the nation to stand united to defend the sovereignty and integrity of the country against internal subversion and threat of external aggression".

On December 7, 1971, the then president Gen Yahya appointed Nurul Amin as the eighth prime minister of Pakistan. Immediately after the fall of East Pakistan on December 16, 1971, Gen Yahya handed over power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who took over as the president and chief martial law administrator on December 20, 1971.

Bhutto was officially sworn in as the ninth premier of Pakistan on August 14, 1973. He formed the country’s first parliamentary government.


1975

Front page of  Dawn on August 14, 1975. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1975. — Dawn Archives

In his Independence Day message in 1975, Bhutto said that Pakistan was "determined to uphold democracy and to maintain peaceful relations with all its neighbours without detriment to its sovereignty and territorial integrity".

According to an article in Dawn on the day, August 14, 1975 was to be celebrated starting with a 31-gun salute in Rawalpindi as well a 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals of the country. The national flag was to be hoisted at important public and private buildings and special prayers for the country were to be offered. The day had been declared a public holiday.

An ad on August 14, 1976. — Dawn Archives
An ad on August 14, 1976. — Dawn Archives

Bhutto was deposed in a military coup by Gen Ziaul Haq on July 5, 1977 and later hanged in what was termed by the historians as the "judicial murder" of a prime minister.

Zia removed Bhutto in a coup, suspended the Constitution and declared martial law, putting Pakistan under its third and longest martial law.

Read: 40 years of Zia: How Zia redefined Pakistan

On Sept 16, 1978, Gen Zia was sworn in as president while retaining the office of army chief.


1978

A clipping from an article on August 14, 1978. — Dawn Archives
A clipping from an article on August 14, 1978. — Dawn Archives

In his message to the nation on Independence Day in 1978, Gen Zia, who the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief Martial Law administrator at the time, "urged the people on the occasion of Independence Day to make their personal interests subservient to the national cause and devote their lives to the welfare and progress of the nation".

An ad for the Pakistan Army on August 14, 1978. — Dawn Archives
An ad for the Pakistan Army on August 14, 1978. — Dawn Archives


1984

A Metro Garments Industries ad for Independence Day on August 14, 1984. — Dawn Archives
A Metro Garments Industries ad for Independence Day on August 14, 1984. — Dawn Archives

On August 14, 1984, a system for Namaz was to be launched in the country. A day prior it had been announced by Gen Zia.

Gen Zia's statement regarding this was published in an article 'Zia launches action plan for Namaz system':

"Brothers in Islam: You are well aware of the ideology of Pakistan and its implications and application. You are also well aware of the concrete steps taken during the last seven years to put the Islamic ideology into practice: now, we have decided to take another step in obedience to the commands of Allah and establish the system of Namaz in the country. We believe unless the system of Namaz is established in every locality, street and village the real objectives of the Islamic system will not be realised. I may add that it needs no reminding that the holy Quran lays greatest possible stress on the system of Namaz among the pillars of Deen. To establish this system is enjoined upon the Government of the day. Therefore this pious action plan is being launched from August 14,1984 ..."


1985

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1985. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1985. — Dawn Archives

A Pakistan Army ad on August 14, 1985. — Dawn Archives
A Pakistan Army ad on August 14, 1985. — Dawn Archives

Gen Zia died in a plane crash on August 17, 1988.

Following this, on Dec 2, 1988, Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as the eleventh prime minister of Pakistan. Her government was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on August 6, 1990 and Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi took over as caretaker prime minister on August 7.

Nawaz Sharif was elected as the prime minister on November 7, 1990 and remained in office till then President Khan dismissed his government on April 18, 1993.


1991

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1991. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 1991. — Dawn Archives

In an Independence Day message for 1991, then President Khan "called upon the people on Tuesday to follow the lofty ideals of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and work selflessly for transforming Pakistan into a peaceful, harmonious, progressive and egalitarian society".

Premier at the time, Nawaz, "called upon the nation to revive the spirit of the Pakistan Movement and work with the same zeal to build a strong and stable Pakistan".


1992

Ads in Dawn on August 14, 1992. — Dawn Archives
Ads in Dawn on August 14, 1992. — Dawn Archives


1995

On October 19, 1993, Benazir was sworn in for the second time as the 13th prime minister of the country.

An ad by the Directorate of Primary Eduation NWFP on August 14, 1995. — Dawn Archives
An ad by the Directorate of Primary Eduation NWFP on August 14, 1995. — Dawn Archives

An ad from the Government of NWFP on August 14, 1995. — Dawn Archives
An ad from the Government of NWFP on August 14, 1995. — Dawn Archives


1997

On February 17, 1997, Nawaz was once again sworn in as prime minister. He was dismissed in a military coup by Gen Musharraf on October 12, 1999.

An article clipping from August 14, 1997. — Dawn Archives
An article clipping from August 14, 1997. — Dawn Archives

"The nation celebrates the golden jubilee of Pakistan's independence on Thursday (Aug 14) with exuberance, enthusiasm and fervour, renewing the pledge to make the country self reliant and bring an end to sectarian antagonism."


1998

A Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation ad on August 14, 1998. — Dawn Archives
A Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation ad on August 14, 1998. — Dawn Archives

Read: 1999: Nawaz Sharif's government dismissed, Musharraf takes over


2000

An August 14, 2000 article said that the main event of the Independence Day would be the flag hoisting ceremony that was to be held in front of the Presidency.

"The President and the Chief Executive in their messages have urged the nation to forge unity among their ranks and pledge to defend country's territorial integrity at all cost."

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2000. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2000. — Dawn Archives


2003

A Pakistan Air Force ad on August 14, 2003. — Dawn Archives
A Pakistan Air Force ad on August 14, 2003. — Dawn Archives


2006

Under Musharraf, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Shaukat Aziz remained the prime ministers of Pakistan.

An ad by the Department of Culture, Tourism, Sports, Youth Affairs and Social Welfare of the Government of Sindh on August 14, 2006. — Dawn Archives
An ad by the Department of Culture, Tourism, Sports, Youth Affairs and Social Welfare of the Government of Sindh on August 14, 2006. — Dawn Archives

Special report: The military strikes back 1999-2008


2007

On Pakistan's 60th Independence Day, the front page of Dawn included an article on the Kashmir issue '60 years on, Kashmir core issue'.

According to a survey, the majority of Kashmiris living in Srinagar in occupied Kashmir wanted to see the disputed territory as an independent country.

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2007. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2007. — Dawn Archives


2009

An ad for the Pakistan Council on Research in Water Resources on August 14, 2009. — Dawn Archives
An ad for the Pakistan Council on Research in Water Resources on August 14, 2009. — Dawn Archives

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was elected the president in September 2008, and that completed the process of the restoration of a civilian and elected government in the country. Under PPP, Yousuf Raza Gilani was elected as the prime minister in 2008.

An ad by the Government of Sindh Ministry of Information in 2009. — Dawn Archives
An ad by the Government of Sindh Ministry of Information in 2009. — Dawn Archives

Read: An overview of 2008 general elections


2012

In 2012, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was elected as the 25th prime minister of Pakistan after the Supreme Court had dismissed Gilani.

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2012. —Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2012. —Dawn Archives

Read: Yousuf Raza Gilani is sent packing


2013

In 2013, Nawaz Sharif was once again elected as the country's premier in a race which also featured Pakistan Peoples Party’s Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf’s Javed Hashmi.

Nawaz won the office by bagging 244 votes with his rivals Fahim and Hashmi securing 42 and 31 votes respectively.

An ad featuring Independence Day wishes from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the people of Pakistan in 2016. —  Dawn Archives
An ad featuring Independence Day wishes from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the people of Pakistan in 2016. — Dawn Archives

Nawaz returned to power after surviving a military coup, a seven-year exile to Saudi Arabia and a government dismissal. His party secured a majority in the May 11, 2013 elections making him the only leader to assume power for the third time amid hopes and promises that he would steer the country out of crisis.


2014

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2014. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2014. — Dawn Archives


2017

Following a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the Panama Papers case in 2017, in which Nawaz was disqualified as prime minister after being deemed unfit to hold office, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was sworn in as prime minister on August 1, 2017.

Read: In pictures: The rise and fall of Nawaz Sharif

An Independence Day ad on August 14, 2017, by the Metropolitan Corporation, Islamabad featuring an image of
then president Mamnoon Hussain and recently sworn in premier at the time Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. — Dawn Archives
An Independence Day ad on August 14, 2017, by the Metropolitan Corporation, Islamabad featuring an image of then president Mamnoon Hussain and recently sworn in premier at the time Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. — Dawn Archives


2018

In 2018, Independence Day came a few days before newly elected Imran Khan was sworn in as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan. PTI had won the general elections on July 25 and the inaugural session of the new National Assembly was held on August 13.

Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2018. — Dawn Archives
Front page of Dawn on August 14, 2018. — Dawn Archives

On August 14, 2018, the front-page story titled 'Transition raises hopes, but doubts abound' read:

"Setting the stage for a second democratic transition a day before the country’s 71st Independence Day, 326 newly elected members of the 15th National Assembly took the oath amid an unusual calm during its inaugural session on Monday."