BUREWALA/SIALKOT/KHANEWAL/LAYYAH/DG KHAN/ MANDI|/BAHAUDDIN/BAHAWALPUR/ GUJRAT/VEHARI/HAFIZABAD -The people celebrated the 70th Independence Day with unprecedented zeal and enthusiasm here on Sunday as the bazaars, streets and buildings were illuminated with national flags, colourful lights, multi-colour banners and buntings.

The day dawned with the special prayers in mosques at Fajr for the progress, prosperity and solidarity of the country. The main ceremony was held at Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) hall where PML-N MNAs Ch Nazir Ahmad Arain, Sajid Mehdi, MPA Irshad Ahmad Arain, Chairman Overseas Commission Shahzad Dogar, Assistant Commissioner Ahmar Sohail and others hoisted the national flag.

A police contingent presented guard of honour while school children sung national anthem. The different government and private schools and social organisations arranged colourful ceremonies where children presented national songs, tableaus and speech to mark the day.

Later, sweets and fruits were distributed to the patients of Tehsil Headquarter Hospital Burewala. In addition, the city’s various organisations arranged Independence Day rallies. Jamaat-e-Islami arranged a photo exhibition in connection with day. The schools and colleges celebrated Independence Day and organized various functions to mark the day.

In Mandi Bahauddin, the main Independence Day function was held at Tehsil Municipal Administration office where DCO Muzaffar Sial was the chief guest. He along with DPO Omer Farooq, ADC Afzaal Warriach and other district administration and police officers unfurled the national flag.

A smartly dressed police contingent presented salute to the flag. On the occasion, the speakers said that main purpose of these celebrations was to renew the pledge to work with enhanced vigour and enthusiasm for making the country stable and prosperous.

Referring to ongoing terrorism in the country, they said the best way to end terrorism is to change present mindset in the society. Instead of criticising others, one should pledge to be responsible, honest, law abiding citizen, he added.

They said, “Intolerance in our society has increased and it has caused hatred against each other. We should promote brotherhood and do our responsibility with sincerity. Today, we remember and honor those fought for Pakistan’s independence and pay tributes to soldiers and security personnel for their sacrifices in fight against terrorism.”

In Sialkot, all the government and semi-government departments held national flag-hoisting ceremony at Jinnah Stadium Sialkot.

Sialkot DCO Dr Asif Tufail hoisted the national flag in the colourful ceremony. MNA Ch Armughan Subhani, local MPAs Ch Muhammad Ikram, Manshaullah Butt, Rana Abdul Sattar, Asif Bajwa, Rana Liaqat Ali, Mrs Gulnaz Shehzadi, Zulfiqar Ghauri, Sialkot DPO Dr Abid Khan. Principal of Kh Muhammad Safdar Medical College Dr Zafar Chaudhry, Chairman of Sialkot Dry Port Trust Khawar Anwar Khawaja and TMA Administrator Dr Umer Sher Chattha were also present.

The speakers said that independent Pakistan is a special blessing from Allah Almighty and it is the responsibility of the people to make it strong and prosperous. They congratulated the people on the auspicious occasion. They said that the day reminds us all the sacrifices and endeavors of the Muslims of the subcontinent to achieve independence.

“While celebrating the Independence Day, it is incumbent upon us to revive the spirit of national unity and follow the Quaid’s guiding principles of unity, faith and discipline,” the DCO added. “Let us make a firm resolve today to make an all-out effort to achieve the objectives of the creation of Pakistan and make the country strong and prosperous.”

A special march was also held tin Jinnah Stadium Sialkot by police, Rescue 1122, civil defence, scouts and students of various colleges. People showed keen interest in the national songs and dance of the horses.

Meanwhile, another prestigious nation flag hoisting ceremony was also held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). SCCI President Mansur Ahmed hoisted national flag.

The speakers highlighted the achievements of the government, goals set for the future and in the words of the Father of the Nation. All the government and private buildings in Sialkot district’s all the four Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils were beautifully illuminated with colourful lights, multi-colour banners and buntings.

Special programmes including debating competitions, special plays were also organised to highlight the Independence Day struggle during functions held at colleges and schools, while similar functions were also held at public and private schools.

In Layyah, man ceremony was held in District Public School (DPS) where DCO Syed Wajid Ali Shah, DPO M Ali Zia hoisted the flag. Ceremonies were also held in tehsil Karor and Choubara.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, the main flag hoisting ceremony was held at Arts Council. Commissioner M Yasrib, RPO DG Khan Rehmatullah Niazi, DCO Nadeem ur Rehman DPO Atta Muhammad, MPAs Shahnaz Saleem, Najma Arshad and a large number of teachers, students and people were present.

The day passed peacefully as no untoward incident took place in DG Khan. Security was beefed up to thwart nefarious designs of terrorists. More than thousand cops in uniform and plain clothes along teams of Elite Police Force and Janbaz were deployed at important spots across the district to keep an eye on the suspicious elements.

In Khanewal, the national flags were hoisted on Jinnah Library, town halls of Kabirwala, Mian Channu and Jahanian Mian Chanu. The main function of the Independence Day was held in the Jinnah library Hall.

The national flag was hoisted by position holder students for the year 2016 Imtiaz Bashir, Bilal Asghar and Muhammad Qasim Zia along with the chief guests, and then national anthem was recited by all the people present there.

Speakers urged the people work with unity in order to combat the challenges confronted by the nation and for realising a better future for the people. They said a national agenda will have to be pursued for improving law and order situation and maintaining economic stability.

In Bahawalpur, the speakers of a hoisting ceremonies said that Pakistan is fortress of Islam and the struggle for independence was based on Two-Nation Theory which makes us historically and ideologically prominent among others. “We could make the country more strong, developed and progressive if we succeed to gain updated knowledge according to the current day demands and up to the international standards to compete in all fields to fulfill the dreams of Pakistan movement leaders.

Activities marked the Independence Day at the University of Gujrat (UoG). A cake-cutting ceremony at UoG girls hostel was held. UoG Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Ziaul Qayyum along with Registrar Dr Tahir Aqil and other senior officials cut the cake. A large number of girl students attended the ceremony. A spectacular display of lights on various UoG buildings bewitched the onlookers.

Later, a rally led by Dr Zia was organized from the hostel to the VC Secretariat. Meanwhile, a number of exhibitions were organized in the Quaid-e-Azam Library Hall. Different teams put their products on display with regard to their initiative called ‘Empowering Pakistan’. They included various scientific gadgets, artificial limbs, bags, sweets and other bakery products. Abdul Waheed from Sialkot in cooperation with the UoG put on display old Pakistani coins, medals and currency notes.

Salute to national flag after hoisting at Gujranwala Cantt.–Staff photo

PML-N parliamentarians at an I-Day ceremony in Faisalabad.–Staff photo

Children celebrate I-Day in Kasur.–Staff photo