LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi on Sunday announced free education up to graduation in state-run educational institutes.

After hoisting the national flag at a ceremony held at Lahore Fort to celebrate Independence Day, Mr Elahi said he had made education free up to matriculation in his previous tenure as chief minister.

Addressing the ceremony, he paid rich tribute to the martyrs of armed forces and police who had laid down their lives in defence of their country.

While praising Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Mr Elahi remarked that the COAS’ services to eradicate terrorism from the country deserved praise.

“People of every religion live in Pakistan and minorities have played a pivotal role in the progress of Pakis­tan. It is our duty to give them respect,” said Mr Elahi.

He added that the Quaid-i-Azam overcame staunch opposition for a separate homeland and stressed that everyone should work with dedication and diligence to make Pakistan prosperous.

He urged the nation to not forget the martyrs of Kashmir while celebrating the independence day.

The chief minister also announced cash prizes of Rs300,000 for special children who sang national songs, Rs200,000 for scouts and Rs100,000 for the police band who participated in the ceremony.

He also visited the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal and laid a floral wreath and offered fateha.

The consul general of the US, China, Turkey and Iran, provincial ministers, bureaucrats and other guests were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2022

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