KARACHI: Independence Day celebrations marking 75 years of freedom this August 14 commenced with a 21-gun salute at the Naval headquarters here at dawn following a 31-gun salute in Islamabad along with prayers offered for the country and the nation.
Acting Sindh Governor Agha Siraj Durrani along with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah visited the Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum and offered fateha. They also hoisted flag and laid floral wreaths on the Quaid’s grave.
The national flag was hoisted at all important public and private buildings while cake cutting ceremonies were held.
In a spectacular ceremony, the smart young cadets of the Pakistan Naval Academy, dressed in their crisp white full dress uniforms, assumed guards’ duty at the Mazar-i-Quaid.
Schoolchildren, fishermen dominate celebrations as Navy, Air Force organise special programmes
The Commandant of the Pakistan Naval Academy Air Commodore Mohammed Khalid, the chief guest on the occasion, laid a wreath at the mazar and offered fateha.
Sindh Acting Governor Agha Siraj Durrani and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah laid wreaths at the Mazar-i-Quaid and hoisted the national flag.
Administrator Karachi, law adviser to the Chief Minister and Sindh government spokesperson barrister Murtaza Wahab also visited the Mazar-i-Quaid to lay a wreath and sign the guest book.
After the VIPs visits, the mausoleum was opened to the general public.
Other than the change of guards ceremony at the Mazar-i-Quaid and special gun salutes and flag hoisting ceremonies at all their units, all Pakistan Navy ships and establishments were illuminated in Navy’s traditional manner.
There were the singing of the national anthem at daybreak and a graceful display by the Pakistan Navy band along with a Jashn-i-Azadi walk, tree plantation, a hifz-o-qirat competition, various sports events and Independence Day rallies by schoolchildren and women.
Also under the auspices of the PN led CTF-151, Independence Day was also celebrated at HQ Combined Maritime Forces Bahrain.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) joined the nation in their 75th Independence celebrations with fervour and dignity.
The day commenced with offering of special prayers for integrity, progress and prosperity of Pakistan in mosques of all the Pakistan Air Force Bases, headquarters, regional air commands and installations followed by flag hoisting ceremonies which were attended by a large number of officers, airmen and civilians.
Similar ceremonies were also held at all Regional Air Commands.
On the occasion, a special national song was prepared by the PAF Directorate of General Public Relations to pay homage to their brave officers who have always led from the front.
A boat rally was organised by the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society (FCS) at noon, which saw participation of hundreds of fishermen.
They had all decorated their boats and were flying the Pakistani flag.
The rally, which started at the Keamari Jetty, finished after sailing around all the prominent islands near the harbour.
Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel, the chief guest on the occasion, appreciated the enthusiasm and passion of fishermen.
Administrator of FCS Zahid Ibrahim Bhatti praised the fishermen and their love for their country.
Pakistan Maritime Security Agency Director General Mohammed Farooq, Brigadier Tauqir of the Sindh Rangers, Commodore Abid Hussain of Pakistan Navy, Col Waqar Azeem of Pakistan Coast Guard were also present on the occasion.
Many schools in the city marked Independence Day with singing of national songs and presenting tableaux. The children were seen dressed up as the various freedom fighters for school plays that looked back at the history of Pakistan and its creation.
Classic cars rally
The 75 years of Independence were celebrated in a big way by the Motor Club of Pakistan in collaboration with the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan and the Heritage Motoring Club of Pakistan by holding the Freedom Drive comprising some 50 of the most beautiful and exquisite automobiles in the country flying the Pakistani flag.
These included a 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, a 1961 Mercedes Benz W-121, a 1972 Mercedes Benz W108 300SEL 4.5, an iconic 1966 Porsche 356, the 1979 Ford Bronco, a 1954 Austin Healey, a Chevrolet Caprice station wagon, a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham, a 1969 Fiat 500D, a 1955 Triumph TR2 1955 and a 1966 Jaguar E type.
The highlight of this annual Freedom Drive was the inclusion of the newly launched electric vehicle Rinco Aria and indigenous motorcycle SideCAR along with lots of heavy bikes, too.
One of the most exquisite cars in the collection were the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, which was once used by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah during his oath taking ceremony as the first Governor General of Pakistan and the 1972 Jaguar XJ6 Series-1 painted in the national flag green colour.
The drive which started from Frere Hall concluded at the Nishan-i-Pakistan at Seaview.
Electric vehicle launch
The bright red prototype of Pakistan’s ‘first indigenous electric car’, the Nur-E 75 was unveiled at a local hotel here.
The ‘75’ in the car’s name refers to the country’s 75th Independence Day and the ‘E’ in there obviously stands for ‘electric’. The car is gifted to Pakistan by the Distinguished Innovations, Collaboration and Entrepreneurship (DICE) Foundation, a US non-profit organisation, run by Pakistani expatriates.
DICE joined hands with local academia and industry to found the car company JaXari, named after the 12th century scientist Ismael al-Jazari, to design and build the car.
Earlier, at the strike of midnight, the Karachi Press Club members celebrated the occasion by cutting a 75-pound green cake.
Political parties celebrate Independence Day
Political parties - both ruling and opposition - on Sunday marked August 14 with number of events and rallies to celebrate Independence Day across the city vowing to keep the national interest as first priority of their political struggle.
The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) organised a flag hoisting and cake cutting ceremony at party office which was attended by a large number of workers and addressed by its Sindh chapter president Senator Nisar Khuhhro.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf staged several rallies and ceremonies in different area of the city.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) in the wee hours of the day carried out fireworks in different city districts and organised flag hoisting ceremony at its temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad.
The Jamaat-i-Islami staged a “family festival” in North Nazimabad near KDA Chowrangi that included rally and fireworks. The event was addressed by party Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman.
Former city mayor and founder Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Mustafa Kamal led the party celebration held in North Nazimabad which included fireworks and a rally.
Sindh Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen president Allama Baqir Abbas Zaidi also visited the Quaid mausoleum and paid homage to the founder of Pakistan. He placed wreath of flower on the leader’s grave and offered fateha for his eternal peace.
Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan Karachi chief Qasim Fakhri led a rally to Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum where it offered fateha and paid homage to founder of the nation.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2022