Lahoris let loose to celebrate freedom
LAHORE: The 66th Independence Day was celebrated with traditional exuberance and national spirit in the city on Tuesday.
The day began with special prayers in mosques for unity of the nation and progress and prosperity of the country.
Formal celebrations started with a 21-gun salute at Fortress Stadium, while flag-hoisting ceremonies were held at the Punjab Assembly, Hazoori Bagh, Lahore High Court, WAPDA House and other major buildings of the city.
Flag-hoisting ceremonies were also held at all the formation headquarters and units of the garrison across the country.
The major flag-hoisting ceremony was held at Hazoori Bagh, adjacent to Badshahi Mosque. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif hoisted the national flag and addressed people.
Prior to his address, the chief minister visited the mausoleum of poet-philosopher Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, offered fateha and prayed for the prosperity of the nation and the country. Shahbaz also laid a floral wreath at the mausoleum and recorded his impressions in the visitor’s book.
Later, scouts of different schools presented salute to the chief minister. Children, clad in beautiful dresses, welcomed the chief minister and showered petals on him.
The flag-hoisting ceremony at Hazoori Bagh was attended by provincial ministers, assembly members, diplomats, senior officials of the Punjab government and a large number of people from different walks of life.
Addressing the gathering, the chief minister said that the Muslims of the sub-continent rendered supreme sacrifices under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for the achievement of an independent homeland.
He said that millions of Muslims had migrated to the new country with the hope of getting rid of the hegemony of Hindus and having an opportunity to lead their lives in accordance with Islamic teachings.
He said that it had been 65 years since Pakistan came into being and though it had made tremendous progress in some sectors, the list of failures was also very long. He said that if the principles laid down by the Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal were followed in letter and spirit, the prevailing “darkness” in the country could be turned into light and brilliance. He said that on the historic day of August 14, there was a need to make a pledge that the existing unjust system would be replaced by a system that ensured supremacy of justice and provided equal opportunities of moving ahead to everyone. He said that it was time to learn from the past mistakes and adopt the same thinking to make Pakistan an economic power that had made it a nuclear power.
Earlier, various schoolchildren presented a variety of progrmames such as national anthem, songs, short plays and speeches. The chief minister appreciated the performance and sang national songs with the children. He also distributed certificates and cash prizes among them.
A flag-hoisting ceremony was also held at the Punjab Assembly, which was attended by assembly members, staff and social personalities. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal hoisted the flag at the assembly building. Speaking on the occasion, Rana Iqbal said, “We will make all-out efforts to make the country prosperous and economically stable. We will rid the country of corruption, poverty, ignorance and terrorism.”
Punjab Governor Latif Khosa also visited the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal and prayed for the country’s prosperity and progress. PPP leaders Imtiaz Safdar Warraich and Azizur Rehman Chan were also present there.
A ceremony for special children was also held at the Governor’s House and Governor Khosa attended it.
A grand ceremony was held at Wagah Border in which the Rangers DG hoisted the flag. A large number of people from all walks of life witnessed parade on the occasion.