Twin cities celebrate Independence Day with fanfare

Published August 15, 2022
People gather to watch a display of fireworks over Giga Mall in Rawalpindi on the eve of Independence Day. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad
People gather to watch a display of fireworks over Giga Mall in Rawalpindi on the eve of Independence Day. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: A number of events were organised in the twin cities on Sunday to observe the 75th Independence Day of Pakistan.

The district administration and Islamabad police were part of an event at F-9 Park in which police bands, from across the country, participated. No invitations or passes were needed to enter which is why a large number of people attended it. Strict security measures were taken.

Another event was held at Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon’s office where the national flag was hoisted. Similarly National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) celebrated the day by holding special rallies across the country.

In a message, NHMP Inspector General Khalid Mahmood prayed for the safety of the country and elevation of the ranks of the martyrs. A flag-hoisting ceremony was held at NHMP Headquarters Islamabad which was presided over by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Asghar Ali.

A flag-hoisting ceremony was also held at the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL).

PAL Chairman Dr Yousuf Khushk said Aug 14 was a day of freedom and happiness for the whole nation.

“We must not forget the sacrifices of our forefathers, who immigrated in the spirit of freedom that we will breathe in a free country and in a free atmosphere,” he said.

In a separate event, president of the Pakistan National Heart Association (Panah) retired Maj Gen Masoodur Rehman Kayani said the value of freedom needed to be known from those nations who were deprived of it.

Similarly, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) celebrated the diamond jubilee of Pakistan’s independence on all its flights with passengers cutting cakes, waving national flags and singing national songs. Passengers expressed pleasure and enjoyed the remarkable on-flight arrangements made by the airline’s management.

PIA had already announced a 14pc discount on all domestic flights for the occasion.

Meanwhile, Independence Day was also celebrated with traditional fervour in Rawalpindi, with several functions being held.

The main event, held at the Government Viqarun Nisa College, was attended by Station Commander Brig Salman Nazar, Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Imran Ahmar, Deputy Commissioner Tahir Farooq and City Police Officer (CPO) Shahzad Bukhari.

Apart from Principal Professor Dr Zahida Parveen, a large number of teachers and students and officers of various departments were also present.

The commissioner hoisted the flag and students presented the national anthem while a contingent of the Punjab Police saluted the flag.

The station commander said officers and soldiers of Pakistan Army considered it an honour to sacrifice their lives for the defence and development of the country.

The RPO said Pakistan was created for ever and its protection was part of our faith. The deputy commissioner said the youth were an asset of the nation and they were dedicated to the protection, freedom and development of the country.

The CPO said under the shadow of the national flag we are all one and our real identity is Pakistan.

Meanwhile, a special function was held at Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU)’s new campus at Holy Family Hospital (HFH) to celebrate the occasion.

RMU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Umer said: “Today we renew our commitment to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers and render the sacrifice of life and wealth for the country.”

A flag-hoisting ceremony was also held at the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench where Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz were chief guests.

A contingent of police presented a guard of honour while Justice Khan hoisted the national flag.

Retired justices Abdul Rahman Lodhi, Ali Nawaz Chauhan, Mujahid Tassim and LHC Rawalpindi bench bar association president Talat Zaidi, association officials and lawyers also participated in the ceremony. A similar function was also held at the Punjab Arts Council.

Taxila

Dressed in traditional attire, members of the Sikh community put on green turbans in Hassanabdal on Sunday as part of celebrations for Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day.

Assistant Commissioner (AC) Fazil Mudassir was chief guest on the occasion.

A flag-hoisting and cake-cutting ceremony was held at Gurdwara Punja Sahib. Local community leader Sardar Jaggi Singh said their forefathers had rendered great sacrifices for independence, and it was the result of these sacrifices that they were living in an independent country.

Gulbeer Singh, caretaker at the temple, said the Sikh community was safe in Pakistan and was getting equal opportunities. “Our land gave us the identity in the world as Pakistani,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Secretary Imran Gondal said: “The minorities of Pakistan are enjoying peace, protection and equal social status as they are free to go to their temples, shrines and other places of worship.”

AC Mudassir said participation of minorities in the celebrations of Independence Day would convey the message of tolerance and interfaith acceptance.

Muzaffarabad

The government and people in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) celebrated the day with traditional zest and fervour, holding a slew of events to mark the day.

As the clock struck 12:01am, the iconic cable-stayed Naluchi bridge in Muzaffarabad lit up with a bright flash of illuminations as well as with the digital display of both the Pakistan and AJK flags along with the 75th anniversary logo followed by an impressive firework display.

Speaking to a big gathering of citizens in the nearby ground of a state-run school, AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan felicitated the nation.

He also paid tributes to the struggling Kashmiris across the divide and noted that they were draping the coffins of their martyrs with green flags in what was an unequivocal manifestation of their love and affection for the Islamic Republic.

“Let me reiterate that while the creation of Pakistan was the outcome of the struggle and sacrifices of our forefathers, annexation with it is the ultimate desire and destination of every Kashmiri,” he said.

The main flag hoisting ceremony was held at the President’s House where President Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry and PM Ilyas jointly unfurled Pakistan’s flag followed by the guard of honour by a contingent of AJK police.

Similar flag-hoisting ceremonies were held at all district headquarters as well as on the premises of the AJK’s supreme and high courts. — Additional reporting by Tariq Naqash and Amjad Iqbal

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2022

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