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- Saturday, August 15, 2009 - From Print Edition




The 62nd Independence Day of Pakistan dawned in Karachi with a 21-gun salute and the offering of special prayers.


Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah hoisted national flag at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah during a simple ceremony, and offered Fateha for the progress and prosperity of the nation. City Nazim Mustafa Kamal, Naib Nazim Nasrin Jalil and other town nazims visited the Quaid’s mausoleum, laid floral wreaths, and offered Fateha for the well-being of the country.


Smartly-dressed cadets of the Pakistan Naval Academy assumed ceremonial guard at the mausoleum on Friday morning to mark the day-long Independence Day celebrations. Pakistan Naval Academy Commandant Commodore Ayaz Ahmed Nasir was the chief guest on the occasion. He inspected the guard, took salute, laid a floral wreath at the mausoleum and offered Fateha.


Earlier, thanks-giving prayers were offered at all mosques of naval units after Fajr prayers. All naval units were decorated and illuminated in a traditional manner, while commanding officers of all ships and establishments addressed special gatherings of officers and highlighted the significance of the day. Flag-hoisting ceremonies were also held and the national anthem was sung at all units.


Sports competitions, including swimming, cricket, Kabaddi, and football among various naval units were also an important part of the Independence Day celebrations. At Pakistan Air Force (PAF) bases and installations, the day commenced with the offering of a special Dua after Fajr prayers. A flag-hoisting ceremony was held at the headquarters of the PAF Southern Air Command, where Air Vice-Marshal ArshadQuddus hoisted the national flag and read out the message of the day from Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman.


Representatives of the three armed forces also laid floral wreaths and offered Fateha at the mausoleum of the Quaid. Elsewhere in the city, Quran Khawani was held after Fajr prayers at mosques for the progress and prosperity of the country.


Tens of thousands of people from various walks of life visited the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam to pay homage to the Father of the Nation. Rallies were organized all over the city on Thursday night, and as the clock hit midnight, the atmosphere reverberated with the sound of fireworks and aerial firing.


According to the police, over 100 people were injured all over Karachi as a result of aerial firing. However, no arrests were made in this regard. Activists of various political parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the Jamaat-e-Islami, Sunni Tehrik, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaidand even some minor parties organised motorcycle rallies on Thusday night.


These rallies, however, created traffic jams on almost all major thoroughfares of the city, including M.A Jinnah road, University road, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Nishtar road, and Rashid Minhas Road and motorists had to wait for several hours to reach their destinations. Meanwhile, a number of educational, social and professional groups also organised programs to celebrate Independence Day. The Karachi Press Club had arranged an Independence Day programme for its members and their families.


Flags were hoisted in all 18 towns of Karachi. The Shah Faisal Town Administration held the ceremony in the lawn of the town Nazim’s office, where caretaker Nazim Irtaza Faruqui hoisted the national flag in the presence of union council, councillors, officers and citizens.


SITE Town Nazim Izharuddin Ahmed Khan hoisted the national flag at his office premises at 8.00a.m., while schoolchildren sang national songs. A similar ceremony was held in Korangi town as well.


Independence Day celebrations this year seemed to have more patriotic fervour as compared to the past, and several people hoisted national flags at their houses and even on their vehicles.




The change of guard at Quaid’s Mazar —The News photo