KARACHI - Like other parts of the country, the 70th Independence Day was celebrated in financial hub of the country on Monday with great zeal and fervour.

The day dawned with 21 guns salute in the provincial capital. Special prayers were offered in mosques for the integrity and solidarity of the country. Various colourful ceremonies were organised in this connection.

Youth in large number celebrated the Day in the city with traditional zeal, many of them raced their bikes on the city streets.

Almost every road of the city witnessed young people dressed in the national flag colours with decorated bikes chanting slogans and singing national songs. Thousands of people including women and children came to the Mazar-e-Quaid to pay homage to the Father of the Nation. Massive traffic jam was witnessed across the city as number of families came on the roads to mark the Day.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah along with Governor Zubair Ahmed and cabinet members performed flag hoisting ceremony and laid wreath on the grave of founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. They offered fateha for him.

Talking to media, Governor Zubair Ahmed said that the country is moving forward on the path of development and prosperity. He added that investment was necessary in Karachi for fast-track development of the port city. He pledged that the government would work on improvement of infrastructure in the city.

“Quaid-e-Azam came to this house after partition; he lived here and also made decisions that changed the fate of our nation,” he informed.

Zubair paid tribute to Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his colleagues in the Muslim League who strived for Pakistan’s independence.

“Those were difficult times. We should work hard and take Pakistan further,” he said, adding that looking back to 1947, we have achieved a lot. “We recognise our mistakes but also need to tell the youth we are in a much better place than before,” said the governor.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that Sindh Assembly was the first legislature to pass a resolution for Pakistan. He said that all the martyrs should be remembered on Independence Day. He said that 1973’s constitution was a consensus document.

Chief Minister said “the independence was achieved with great sacrifices of our elders and now it becomes our responsibility to protect the sovereignty of the country.” He added that the terrorists were trying to undermine the country but “our people are united against them and they (terrorists) would never succeed in their nefarious designs.

He strongly condemned Quetta blast and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families.

“Today, we should remember all those who lost their lives in the struggle for separate homeland and fighting against terrorists,” he said.

Talking about current political situation, Sindh Chief Minister further said that PML-N opposed the amendment in cluases-62 (1)(f) of the constitution when 18th amendment was being passed and now it is being proposed.

He said that when the constitution of 1973 was being restored in its original shape by making 18th amendment they [PML-N] opposed amendment in clauses 62(1)(f) strongly. Therefore, both the clauses were left in the constitution unabated. “Now they (PML-N leadership) has shown its inclination and intention to repeal both the clauses, 62 (1)(f), let us see what political leadership of PPP decides would be followed accordingly. Had it been amended or repealed in those days things would have been different, he said.

Earlier, an impressive change of guard ceremony was held at mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Naval Academy cadets, clad in ceremonial dresses, assumed ceremonial guard duties at Mazar-e-Quaid.

Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, Commodore Adnan Ahmad graced the occasion as chief guest and reviewed the guard. The chief guest and cadets of Pakistan Navy presented Qaumi Salam to the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The ceremonial guard mounting was followed by laying of floral wreath at the Mazar-e-Quaid by the chief guest on behalf of Chief of the Naval Staff, officers and men of Pakistan Navy.

Later on, the chief guest offered fateha and recorded his remarks in the visitor book and paid rich tribute to our beloved Quaid.

Pakistan Navy Ships and Establishments were illuminated in Navy’s traditional manner. Flag hoisting ceremony was also held at designated unit of Pakistan Navy.

Various other activities including singing of national anthem at naval units in the morning, PN Band Display at Frere Hall Karachi, flag hoisting ceremony at Pakistan Maritime Museum as well as various sports fixtures were also a part of day long celebrations. Independence Day celebrations at Pakistan Navy educational institutions were also held where schoolchildren presented tableaus on national songs and declamation contests were held highlighting the importance of Independence Day.

On the other side, spectacular air show of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) held at the Sea View beach was the attraction of the day and this event was attended by a large number of citizens. On the occasion, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while addressing the Air Show said that this day (August 14) reminds us the sacrifices made by millions of Muslims of the subcontinent to have a separate homeland.

He said it was August 14th when Muslims of subcontinent were able to get a land of their own, where they could live a life according to their religion. “On 14 August 1974, we gained independence after remarkable efforts made by our father of nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was a man of great calibre and had the conviction that Muslims of this land could live happily when they would own a country led by their own people and a country where they could shape up their life in accordance with Islam,” he said.

The chief minister said that the dream of Pakistan was conceived by our beloved poet Allama Iqbal but realisation was achieved under the visionary guidance of Quaid-e-Azam. “The able leadership was even acknowledged by his worst enemies,” he said and added “it was Jinnah who fought the case of Muslim nationhood.

Murad Ali Shah said “this day demands from us to make a pledge today that we will make efforts to build Pakistan into a more prosper and strong country even if we may have to sacrifices our lives”.

He said that he wants to extend his heartfelt felicitation to Pakistan Air Force for arranging an excellent celebration. “In fact, this mega activity reflects the love and affection for our motherland. I am sure that this jubilant event would enhance the prestige of our armed forces in the eyes of our civilian brothers”.

He added “our armed forces have time and again demonstrated their capabilities and have rendered great humanitarian services during war and peace time”.

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto visited the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam and laid wreath and paid homage to him.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Senior Minister and President PPP Nisar Khuhro, Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, Home Minister Suhail Anwar Sial, Manzoor Wassan, Mumtaz Jakhrani, Sardar Shah, MPA Saeed Ghani and other Senators, MNAs and MPAs were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Mayor Karachi while speaking in the flag-hoisting ceremony held in KMC building, said that the large scale participation of citizens of Karachi in Independence Day programmes provided proof of their immense love for our homeland. Deputy Mayor Dr Arshad Vohra, Municipal Commissioner Dr Asghar Abbas, City Council Parliamentary leaders Aslam Shah Afridi, Aman Khan Afridi, Firdous Naqvi with other staff in large number were also present on this occasion. 

The mayor congratulated citizens on 70th Independence Day and called this a good omen that people of Karachi participated in large number with traditional vigour and enthusiasm in programmes held in connection with the Independence Day celebrations.

He praise efforts of KMC officers and elected representatives to make these programmes successful by their hard work and commitment.

The ceremony was also addressed by the deputy mayor Dr Arshad Vohra who said the elected representatives of Karachi have this responsibility on their shoulders and they have to deliver.

A flag-hoisting ceremony was organised at DHA SKBZ College and DHA Model High School Phase-IV on 14 Aug 2017. The Administrator DHA Brig Shahid Hassan Ali hoisted the national flag followed by the national anthem sung by the students of DHA Education Institutions.

The administrator during his remarks went over the history of the creation of Pakistan, the contribution of youth for the creation of Pakistan and sacrifices of the people of Pakistan. The administrator emphasised the need for students to remain patriotic, committed and cognizant of their role as Pakistanis in their respective areas of responsibility. He accentuated the need to live by the national guiding principles of ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’ in every walk of life.

Administration of Asia’s largest makeshift Cattle Market celebrated Independence Day. Administrator of the market Syed Irshad presided over a flag-hoisting ceremony.