RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD - Like others parts of the country, residents on twin cities celebrated the 65th Independence Day with traditional passion, enthusiasm and renewed commitment to make the country strong, progressive and prosperous with tireless efforts and hardworking.

It was a public holiday. The day dawned with special prayers in all the mosques for the development and success of the country. Minorities also offered special prayers for the well being of the country.

Country’s Independence Day’s celebrations started with 31-cannon salute in the federal capital and 21-cannon salute in provincial capital. All the government and private buildings were illuminated with colourful electric bulbs, bounties and huge sized flags were also hoisted on all the government and private buildings. Flag hoisting ceremonies were held at Commissioner Office, District Bar Association (DBA), Central Office of Pakistan Aman Party (PAP), Government Degree College for Women, B-Block and Government College for Women Rehmatabad.

People across the city decorated their houses, shopping centres and offices with national flags, bounties, banners, lightning, paintings, buntings and balloons particularly in green and white colours. The roads and streets were also decorated with banners and streamers. The schools, colleges and universities despite of public holidays also organised national songs competitions and other programmes.

To mark the occasion in befitting manner, print media published special supplements, features, and articles highlighting the importance of the day and sacrifices rendered by the heroes and nation’s forefathers for it. Whereas Electronic media, especially Waqt News, presented various programmes including national songs, talk shows, dramas and children programmes.

On the midnight falling between 13-14 August, political parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Awami Muslim League (AML), Jammat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan Aman Paty (PAP), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf took out motorcycle rallies and held pubic gatherings while various other organisations conducted different seminars, speeches, conferences, declamation contests, symposiums and quiz contests across the city to highlight the Pakistan movement.

The young generation decorated their cars, motorbikes and bicycles with national flags, stickers and buntings and roamed across the city to mark the 65 Independence Day in their own ways. Some youngsters played Pakistani and Indian songs with full volume in their vehicles with dancing on the bonnets of the cars. Children while wearing small badges were fully enjoying.

Traffic on almost all general roads of the city remained jammed whereas traffic wardens successfully performed their duties to make traffic flow smooth.

The shopkeepers and vendors set up various stalls to sell national flags, badges, buntings, candles and other items on double rates across the city.

Car drivers and bikers shown stunts on Bank Road, Benazir Bhutto Road, GT Road, Faizabad while city traffic and Punjab police impounded various vehicles on the account of traffic rules violation.

In Commissioner Officer, the flag hoisting ceremony was attended by Commissioner Imdad Ullah Bosal, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Capt (Retd) Muhammad Zubair, City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Hameed Khokher and other officials of district government.

In District Courts, flag hoisting ceremony was held under the aegis of District Bar Association (DBA). DBA President Sajid Ilyas Bhatti hoisted the flag while other members of executive committee were also present. The cake cutting ceremonies were also organised by the PML-N legislators including MPA Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, MNA Malik Shakeel Awan and MPA Zia Ullah Shah.

PAP held a ceremony at its Central Office on the occasion of Independence Day which was chaired by PAP Chairman Haji Gulzar Awan. Political leaders, advocates and members of NGOs addressed the ceremony and threw light on Pakistan movement. Later, PAP Chairman Haji Gulzar Awan hoisted national flag. Similarly, JI, MQM, PPP, PML-Q, PTI Youth and Women Wings organized various programs to celebrate Independence Day.

Tight security arrangements were made by law enforcers on the directions of CPO Azhar Hameed Khokher with extra deployment of police force.

Meanwhile, Allama Iqbal Open University will construct Azadi Complex to project the rare photographs and documents to motivate the new generation to remember the sacrifices of the great leaders who rendered unprecedented sacrifices during Pakistan Movement and prepared them to translate its objectives into reality.

This was stated by Vice-Chancellor AIOU while presiding over the Independence Day’s celebration at the University’s main auditorium here on Tuesday. The entire cost for the construction of the complex will be provided by the University while the National Archives of Pakistan will arrange the suitable land for the complex. The complex will be built at Wagha Border or near Minar-e-Pakistan where thousands of people visit every day to pay tributes to their leaders and show their emotion national attachments with the country.

The Vice-Chancellor inaugurated the exhibition of Quaid-e-Azam’s documents, photographs and hundred years’ old newspapers of Pakistan movement, arranged by the  National Archives of Pakistan. The Director General Archives Habib Ahmad Khan was also present in the occasion as a Chief Guest. The Vice-Chancellor also announced to expand the University’s network to each nook and corner of the country to provide quality education to the deprived section of the society.

A model study center will be built at each district where e-learning facility and a laboratory to facilitate the students to have an easy access to the modern education system and the University’s programmes at their door-steps. The Vice-Chancellor also distributed special awards to the dedicated and hard-working officers and employees of the university. The award consists of a certificate and cash given in recognition of their meritorious services for the development of University and making best possible efforts to ensure access to quality education to the needy students all over the country.

The Vice-Chancellor also hoisted a flag at the main campus to commemorate the independence day of Pakistan. A colorful variety show befitting the occasion was also arranged on the occasion. 

The children of AIOU’ employees residing in the University’s colony presented national songs and tableau ,besides speeches highlighting the historic independence movement and sacrifices of their leaders.

They pledged to follow the footprints of Pakistan movements’ heroes and make the country prosperous, following the dreams of thousands of workers of Pakistan movement. A tableau’s presentation was led by an AIOU’s employee, Faqir Hussain.

The ceremony was arranged by the Department of Pakistan Studies. Head of the Department, Dr. Aman-ullah Memon highlighted the role of the AIOU in communicating the message of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other leaders to the young generation.

Meanwhile, in a colourful event held to mark Independence Day, children physically & intellectually challenged and visually and hearing impaired performed national songs and other items.

The Directorate General of Special Education & Social Welfare organised the event Tuesday. Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Federal Minister for Capital Administration & Development was the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion he said special children are asset of the nation and special measures will be taken to provide a barrier free society for children with disabilities. He further said that Government of Pakistan aims to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedom by the Persons with Disabilities at all levels, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. Federal Minister applauded the zeal and zest of special children in connection with Independence Day Celebration and also congratulated teachers and staff members of Directorate General of Special Education & Social Welfare for organizing such a colorful event. 

The Minister distributed cheques of Rs.10, 000/- rupees each among the special children from Special Education Center functioning under the Directorate General of Special Education & Social Welfar on behalf of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Zamurd Khan, Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal said for the special children and special friends of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal in near future a comprehensive program will be chalked out and launched for the  economic rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with the Directorate General of Special Education & Social Welfare.

While welcoming the guests Ms. Ghayoor Sultana, Director General Special Education & Social Welfare thanked the Federal Minister for sparing time for Special Children on the occasion of Independence Day. Speaking on the occasion, she said that ‘the government is mindful of the rights of Persons with Disabilities and numbers of step have already been taken for their welfare. We are striving for the implementation of the National Plan of Action (2006) which is based on National Policy (2002) for Persons with Disabilities’.