KARACHI – Like other parts of the country, the 66th Independence Day will be celebrated in the cosmopolitan city of Karachi with zeal and fervor on Tuesday (today).

Besides main official events being held at the Quaid’s mausoleum and Civic Centre, special programmes will be held by various political parties, educational institutes and non-governmental organisations in the city in connection with the Independence Day.

To pay homage to the country’s founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Sindh chief minister, governor, federal and provincial ministers, leaders of various political groups as well as senior government functionaries will offer prayers and lay floral wreaths at his mausoleum across the day. Security checks have been made stringent in and around the mausoleum, besides other city neighbourhoods.

The I-Day celebrations at the lawns of the Civic Centre will start with a national flag-hoisting ceremony. Student bands of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation-run schools will present a salute to the national flag.  Nevertheless, it is being said that the brewing law and order situation and towering inflation may largely restrain the very spirit with which the citizens used to celebrate the auspicious day in the previous years. Notably, official buildings have not been illuminated the way they should be.

Besides, sale and purchase of national flags, buntings, posters, stickers and candles could not gain momentum, as most of the shopkeepers, stall-holders and pushcart vendors did not take it as a prolific proposition at a time when the people were fasting and had already begun the countdown to Eidul Fitr. Although major shopping malls, bazaars and important roads have been decorated by traders, it is only for the religious festival. The traditional hustle and bustle in residential localities is also missing on this year’s Independence Day, as most of the citizens did not decorate their houses and buildings with national flags, buntings and fancy lights.

In the past years, national flags as well as portraits and messages of national heroes were used to be installed on billboards and hoardings on Shahrah-e-Quaideen, University Road, Shahrah-e-Faisal, MA Jinnah Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan and Mazar-e-Quaid Road. This year, these have been devoured by advertisements for charity requests by political and religious parities.

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan will hold a national fag-hoisting ceremony and a special exhibition as part of the 65th Independence Day celebrations. SBP Governor Yaseen Anwar will hoist the national flag at the bank’s building on II Chundrigar Road at 9am. He is also scheduled to open the exhibition at the SBP’s Museum & Art Gallery.  Starting from the year 1857, the exhibition will highlight the stories of the freedom struggle and will continue till the end of this month. A collection of photographs and documents – relating to the freedom movement – from Quaid-e-Azam’s secretary, Shamsul Hasan, will also go on display at the said event.

A national flag-hoisting ceremony will also go off at the FUUAST’s Abdul Qadir Auditorium.