ISLAMABAD: The nation celebrated Independence Day Sunday with a renewed pledge to safeguard the motherland against any threat and make it a true Islamic welfare state as envisioned by its founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The celebrations of Independence Day officially began with fireworks at parade ground Shakarparian in Islamabad at midnight.

The ground and surrounding areas were lit with thousands of colourful fireworks and lights. Thousands of citizens from Rawalpindi and Islamabad witnessed the great firework.

The day dawned with 31-gun salute in the federal and 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals.

Special prayers were offered for prosperity, integrity and solidarity of the country, unity of the Muslim Ummah and success of the long drawn struggle of Kashmiris after Fajr prayers.

The main event of the day was a flag hoisting ceremony at Convention Center in Islamabad where President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest.

Flag hoisting ceremonies were also be held at the provincial capitals and district headquarters besides other important national institutions.

Meanwhile, all major public and private buildings, roads and avenues have been tastefully decorated with illuminations, national flags, portraits of the national leaders, banners and buntings giving a festive look.

In Karachi, a change of guard ceremony was held in which a contingent of Pakistan Navy took the command of Quaid’s mausoleum.

Commandant Pakistan Naval academy Commodore Adnan Ahmad was the chief guest of the change of guard ceremony. He also laid flower wreath on Quaid’s sepulcher.

Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah along with his cabinet went to Quaid’s Masouleum to pay respect. They laid gloral wreaths and offered Fatiha Khawani and penned down tribute to the Quaid in the Guest Book.

A change of guard ceremony was also held at the Mausoleum of Allama Iqbal in Lahore where army unit took the guard duties from the rangers. 

GOC Major General Tariq Aman was the chief guest of the change of guard ceremony. The Rangers were performing the Guards Duty at the mausoleum previously.

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif laid floral wreath at Iqbal’s masouleum. Top political figures and others hailing from all other walks of life paid reverence visit to Iqbal’s masouleum after the change of Guard. Fool-proof security arrangements were made on the occasion.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtwankhwa Pervez Khattak performed the national flag hoisting ceremony in Peshawar. A cultural dance was presented on the occasion.

Addressing the function, he said Pakistan is a great blessing of Allah on us and our forefather had rendered great sacrifices for it.

The Chief Minister said we should promote democratic values, justice and equality in the society. On this occasion, collective prayer was also offered for development and prosperity of the nation.

Rescue 1122 took out a Float in Faisalabad and there was also national flag hoisting ceremony.

In Muzaffarabad, the main flag hoisting ceremony was held at Azad Kashmir President House.

AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan hoisted the national flag.

The ceremony was attended by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, Cabinet Ministers, Members Legislative Assembly, high ranking civil and military official and notable of the city.