SIALKOT - The birth anniversary of great poet and philosopher Allama Iqbal was celebrated with traditional zeal and enthusiasm here on Friday.

The day dawned with special prayers in the mosques for the peace, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan. The main birthday cake cutting ceremony was held at Iqbal Manzil Sialkot under the auspices of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

A large number of people paid homage to the great poet and philosopher Allama Iqbal. SCCI President Khawaja Masud Akhtar said that there was a great imagination of implementation, ethics and spiritualism in Iqbal's poetry. He said that Allama Iqbal wanted to see human development through the way of selfhood or Khudi.

He asked the youth to strive for self-reliance and emphasised austerity envisioned by Allama Iqbal. He added that Allama Iqbal was a visionary leader who conceived the idea of separate homeland for the Muslims of the Subcontinent that was ultimately materialised in the shape of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

SCCI Senior Vice President Waqas Akram Awan said that the teachings of Allama Iqbal are like a beacon which maintains tolerance, peace and stability. Some rare books on Iqbaliyat and pictures of Allama Iqbal, his parents and family members were also displayed.

A large number of the Iqbal's fans visited the Iqbal Manzil. They showed keen interest in the personal used things of Allama Iqbal and in the rare books and pictures of Allama Iqbal and his family members displayed there. The Kalaam-e-Iqbal and speech contests were also held at Iqbal Manzil.

District and Session Judge (DSJ) Sialkot Malik Ali Zulqarnain Awan, Deputy Commissioner Sialkot Muhammad Tahir Wattu and Mayor Tauheed Akhtar also visited Iqbal Manzil. District and Session Judge (DSJ) Sialkot Malik Ali Zulqarnain Awan paid rich tributes to Allama Iqbal.

Incharge Iqbal Manzil Syed Riaz Hussain Naqvi said that more pictures of Allama Iqbal and his family and 22 letters of Allama Iqbal were displayed at Iqbal Manzil for public view at as many as 158 years old Iqbal Manzil. He added that these letters had been written by Allama Iqbal to his family members and friends. The letters were donated to Iqbal Manzil by some close relatives of Allama Iqbal.

Bazm-e-Iqbal President Shamim Khan Lodhi stressed a need to follow the teachings of Allama Iqbal to retrieve the country from various challenges it is facing.

A symposium on Iqbaliyat was also held at Govt Murray College Sialkot (the alma mater of Allama Iqbal). Inter-collegiate Kalam-e-Iqbal competition was also held at Govt. Murray College Sialkot to pay homage Allama Iqbal. The students of Sialkot district's 15 colleges participated in this competition.

A large number of the people from all walks of life participated in an Iqbal Day rally taken out in Sialkot under the auspices of Sialkot Municipal Corporation. Mayor Tauheed Akhtar led the rally which began from Iqbal Manzil Sialkot and ended at Sialkot city's congested Allama Iqbal Chowk.

Meanwhile, former chairman of Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) Malik Ashraf, Abdul Shakur Mirza, SCCI PRO Tajamal Hussain, Mohsin Gull, Incharge/caretaker of Iqbal Manzil Sialkot Syed Riaz Hussain Naqvi and senior journalists were also present. The 104th death anniversary of Imam Bibi, mother of Allama Iqbal, was also observed.

A large number of the people from all walks of life participated in Quran Khawani held at her native village Jethikey-Sambrial.

On the occasion, the people offered Fateha for the eternal peace of the departed soul of Imam Bibi.

The people also visited the graves of the Allama Iqbal's parents and other family members at Imam Sahib Graveyard. They laid the floral wreaths there besides offering Fateha.