Pakistanis are celebrating the country's diamond jubilee with traditional zeal and fervour, with commemorative ceremonies being held in different cities today.
According to Radio Pakistan, the day dawned with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in the provincial headquarters. Prayers were offered for the security and progress of Pakistan, and the well-being of the people, the report said.
A change of guard ceremony was also held at the mausoleum of the Quaid-i-Azam in Karachi.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also unveiled the design of Rs75 commemorative banknote for the country's diamond jubilee. According to the central bank, the note will be available for public issuance from September 30.
"The note has portraits of Quaid-i-Azam, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Iqbal and Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah to recognise and acknowledge their contribution in Pakistan Movement. The Markhor on the note’s reverse highlights our focus on environmental sustainability," the SBP said.
Celebrating 75 years of independence, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif vowed to transform the country into an economic power.
Addressing the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Jinnah Convention centre in Islamabad, he stressed the need for a national dialogue and developing consensus on a charter of economy in order to transform Pakistan into an economic power.
"If we can become a nuclear power, we can also become an economic power but for it we have to strive day and night and prove to the world that we are no less than anyone," the prime minister said.
“Pakistan Movement is a lesson for everyone," he said, adding that no amount of hurdles could deter a nation from achieving its goals once it decided its path.
PM Shehbaz also urged the nation to play a role in the country's development by following Quaid-i-Azam's principles of unity, faith and discipline. He also said that the nation should identify the mistake of the past in order to avoid repeating them in the future.
Later, the prime minister visited Pakistan Sweet Homes and took part in a cake-cutting ceremony, along with announcing a gift of buses for the institute's transport needs.
'Great sacrifices of our forefathers'
Earlier, in separate messages, the prime minister and President Arif Alvi congratulated the country on 75 years of independence.
In their messages, they said that this day reminds us of the sacrifices rendered by our founding fathers under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam, Radio Pakistan reported.
The president said today we also reaffirm our resolve to uphold Pakistan's ideology and to make the country into an ideal modern Islamic welfare nation-state.
In his message Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Pakistan had the necessary tools to embrace all challenges. He underlined that the country honours the extraordinary efforts of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his companions that led to the creation of Pakistan which he termed "our independent homeland".
"We also pay tribute to the great sacrifices rendered by our forefathers in the struggle for freedom."
The foreign minister said the journey of the past 75 years had seen ups and downs, adding that Pakistan battled against all odds.
"However, we have always overcome these challenges with resilience and perseverance. It is a matter of great pride that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the part of this journey since the very beginning and has been diligently working since then to keep the national flag high all over the world."
He said the Foreign Office continued to follow the foreign policy goals outlined by the country's founders.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains its position as the first line of decision for our country. We are fully cognizant of the realities of the new world through which we have to navigate with caution and foresight."
Bilawal said Pakistan stood tall as a modern state while preserving its historical identity, adding: "We are a nation with our eyes on the future."
"We will reflect on the future to chart a way forward for the peace, prosperity and development of our homeland," he concluded.
On the occasion, President Alvi also conferred civil awards on 253 Pakistani citizens and foreign nationals. The citizens were bestowed with awards for showing excellence and courage in different fields, Radio Pakistan reported.
The president also conferred military awards on the officers and soldiers of the Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force.
The President gave two Sitara-i-Basalat, 68 Tamgha-i-Basalat, 33 Imtiazi Asnad, 68 COAS Commendation Cards, 22 Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), 102 Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military) and 130 Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Military).