Rawalpindi-The residents of Pindi celebrated Pakistan Independence Day with zeal and fervour across the division here on Tuesday.

The day started with prayers in mosques, churches and other places of worship for the prosperity of the country. Scores of events were held in educational institutions, government, semi government and private departments across the city to celebrate the 71st Independence Day. Flag hoisting and cake cutting ceremonies were also held.

On night of August 13, the sky lit up with fireworks while many people fired shots in the air. Police did not take action against the citizens involved in aerial firing with automatic weapons. However, City Traffic Police along with local police set up special pickets to thwart one wheeling and stunts by motorcyclists on the eve of 14th August. All the important buildings were decorated with electric bulbs and buntings.

However, heavy rain began on night between Monday and Tuesday causing massive traffic jam in various parts of city.

In Adiala Jail, a ceremony was also held to celebrate Independence Day. Deputy Inspector General Prisons Navid Rauf Siddiqui was the Chief Guest on the occasion while Superintendent Saeed Ullah Gondal, other senior and junior officers and a large numbers of inmates attended the ceremony. Addressing the ceremony, Saeed Ullah Gondal paid a tribute to those who rendered countless sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan. Musical chair competition was also held and the guests awarded prizes to winners. Special prayers were offered for peace and prosperity. The jail administration distributed sweets among the staff and personnel of law enforcement agencies. DIG Prisons also visited barracks of male and female inmates and given them gifts.

A flag hoisting ceremony was also organised at New Islamabad International Airport during which the senior officers of Civil Aviation participated and prayed for stability of Pakistan.

An event was also held at Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi which was attended by a large numbers of officers and people.

Secretary Board Dr Tanvir Zafar, who was chief guest, Controller Examinations Abid Kharal, Arslan Cheema, Media Manager, and others, hoisted flag; cut cake and prayed for well being of country.

PML-N Chairman UC Girja Raja Altaf Qadir and Vice Chairman Malik Nahim along with school children also hoisted the national flag at UC Office.

A ceremony was also held at Rawalpindi Arts Council which was attended by officials of other departments, officers and officials of Rescue 1122. Rescue 1122 District Emergency Officer Dr Abdul Rehman hoisted flag. Similarly, Rescue 1122 Tehsil Kallar Syedan Station rescuers and volunteers also celebrated Independence Day with full enthusiasm.  College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan also organised an event where Chairman Green Task Force/Qamar Jahan Foundation Dr Jamal Nasir was the chief guest.

Rallies, seminars, flag-hoisting and cake cutting ceremonies were hosted in Rawalpindi as part of the celebrations for the 70th Independence Day as well.

Separate events were hosted in the commissioner’s office and the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) office while residents of the city took to the main roads and public parks. Residents of the city could be seeing buying flags of various sizes, badges, hair bands, ribbons, masks, buzzers and bandanas from road side vendors. Many children and youth had the national flag painted on their faces. Cars, motorcycles, bicycles, houses, buildings and markets were decorated with the national flag, bunting and fairy lights. People wore green and white clothes and danced on Murree Road to various national songs playing on portable sound systems.

Business activities were suspended in most areas. Elected public representatives displayed large hoardings and banners along Murree Road featuring pictures of the Quaid-i-Azam, Fatima Jinnah, Allama Mohammad Iqbal and other prominent figures and wished their supporters a happy Independence Day.

The main flag hoisting ceremony was held at Commissioner Office Rawalpindi which was attended by the Commissioner. Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Naseem, RPO Muhammad Fayyaz Dev, CPO Abbas Ahsan, other eledted MPs of PTI including AML President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Ijaz Khan Jazzi, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, Amir Kiyani, Umer Tanvir Butt, Fayyaz Ul Hsaan Chohan, Raja Rashid Hafeez and others also organised ceremonies; hoisted flags and cut cakes to celebrate the Independence Day.

Keeping with tradition, the Fatima Jinnah Women University also celebrated Independence Day with zeal and enthusiasm. The flag was hoisted by the university’s vice chancellor, Prof Dr Samina Amin Qadir.

Residents took to parks and other public spaces with their loved ones to celebrate the day, leading to traffic congestion outside and near Ayub Park, Nawaz Sharif Park, Jinnah Park and Zia Park, with traffic wardens trying to ensure a smooth traffic flow.