ISLAMABAD: The nation celebrated its 75th Independence Day with traditional zeal and fervour on Sunday.
The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and a 21-gun salute in the provincial headquarters. Special prayers were offered in mosques for peace, solidarity and prosperity of the country. The main event of the celebrations was a national flag-hoisting ceremony in Islamabad. Similar ceremonies were also held at provincial, divisional and district headquarters.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that she wanted to dedicate the 75th Independence Day to the youth of Pakistan, who hold the future of the country in their hands. In a social media post, she said may Almighty Allah keep Pakistan happy and prosperous. In her message to youths, she said, “This country is yours, you are its guardian”.
Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Major General Babar Iftikhar extended felicitations on behalf of the armed forces of Pakistan on the diamond jubilee celebrations of Independence Day. The ISPR DG, on his official Twitter handle wrote, “Happy Independence Day/Diamond Jubilee Celebrations to the great Pakistani nation from the Armed Forces of Pakistan.”
He also mentioned the theme for the diamond jubilee year of independence as “Azm-e-Aleshaan-Shad Rahe Pakistan”’ (The Glorious Resolve-- May Pakistan be prosperous) Pakistan Zindabad!
The armed forces of Pakistan paid tribute to the creator and writer of the national anthem, Abul Asar Hafeez Jalandhari. A smartly turned out contingent of the Pakistan army presented a salute at the mausoleum of the poet in Lahore and a floral wreath was also laid at his grave. The tribute was paid on the day when the national anthem was launched with latest version of A/V technology. The visual recording of the anthem has been made at beautiful and scenic sites of the country to pay tribute Hafeez Jalandhari and Ahmad Chagla.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) also joined the nation in the celebrations. The day commenced with offering of special “Dua’” for the integrity, progress and prosperity of the country in mosques of Pakistan Air Force bases and Air Headquarters. Later, a flag hoisting ceremony was held at Air Headquarters, Islamabad. Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Nadeem Sabir hoisted the national flag. Afterwards, all personnel sung the national anthem in unison with the whole nation. A message by Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu was also read. Similar ceremonies were also held at all regional air commands, PAF bases and installations.
An impressive Change of Guard ceremony was held at mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Naval Academy cadets and sailors; arrayed meticulously in ceremonial dresses assumed guard duties at Mazar-i-Quaid, with effervescent spirit and enthusiasm, a Pakistan Navy media release said.
Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, Commodore M Khalid graced the occasion as Chief Guest and reviewed the guard. The chief guest and Pakistan Navy contingent presented Qaumi Salam to the Father of the Nation.
The ceremonial guard mounting was followed by laying of floral wreath at the Mazar-e-Quaid by the chief guest on behalf of Chief of the Naval Staff, officers and men of Pakistan Navy. In his message, Foreign Minister Bilawar Bhutto-Zardari said the country honours the extraordinary efforts of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his companions that led to the creation of Pakistan. “Pakistan has all necessary tools to face all challenges,” he added. The foreign minister said the journey of the past 75 years had seen ups and downs, adding that Pakistan had battled against all odds.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Qamar Zaman Kaira said the present days were very important in the history of the nation. “We have to see what we have lost and what we have gained in these 75 years. There are many mistakes, flaws and good things during this journey,” he told the media at his residence.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry said a strong and stable Pakistan was vital for Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control. He expressed these views at an event in Muzaffarabad to mark the 75th Independence Day of Pakistan. The function was also attended by Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan, Deputy Speaker Chaudhry Muhammad Riaz and others.
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