LAHORE - Educational institutions on Wednesday hosted special events to mark the 72nd Independence Day.

A good number of medics and staff turned up at the King Edward Medical College (KEMU) where a seminar followed the flag-hoisting ceremony.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid graced the occasion as chief guest, while KEMU VC Prof Khalid Gondal, Mayo Hospital CEO Prof Dr Asad Aslam and faculty shed light on importance of the day.

Doctors of this prestigious institution had played an important role in creation of Pakistan. The first principal, Ilahi Bakhsh, was the personal doctor of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The university’s doctors always played a vital role whenever the country needed their services, especially in wars of 1965 and 1971 on the borders.

Flanked by the VC and other staff, the minster hoisted the national flag. Special prayers for national development and prosperity were also offered.

Dr Yasmin said, “Prof Dr Gondal deserves appreciation for holding such a ceremony. Our forefathers sacrificed everything for independence. We should value this independence and use all energies for bringing prosperity. Setting aside personal issues, we should show unity to for the cause of nation building.”

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As the day Independence Day was observed as Kashmir Solidarity Day this year, the minster reiterated the resolve to continue supporting the Kashmir cause. “We will back Kashmiris in their struggle for their right to self-determination,” she said.

In his address, Prof Dr Gondal called for following in the footsteps of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Qauid-i-Azam to become a developed nation.

He said: “Pakistan has always shown India the door at every forum. We are thankful to the health minister for being the chief guest at the Independence Day Ceremony.”

The minister also inaugurated a new endoscopy machine and ward at the Neurosurgery Unit and called upon doctors to do their job with dedication and commitment.

Also, Dr Yasmin raised the Pakistani flag at Fatima Jinnah Medical University. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Aamir Zamaan Khan, Ganga Ram Hospital MS Dr Fayyaz Butt, faculty members and medical students were present. Similar functions were held at other institutions of the city.

Addressing a ceremony at Postgraduate Medical Institute/Lahore General Hospital, Principal Prof Alfareed Zafar said that the dream of freedom of Kashmir would soon become a reality. Medical Superintendent LGH Dr Mahmood Salah Uddin, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff attended the ceremony.

Nursing students clad in green presented national songs, speeches and tableaus depicting the importance of freedom and independence. They expressed their commitment to leave no stone unturned to achieve their educational goals and serve the ailing humanity with more dedication and devotion. Students also sang national anthem along with all the participants. The hospital administration distributed gifts and sweets among patients and their attendants.

Prof Zafar said that making Pakistan a country which manifests peace, love and respect for each other was a collective responsibility. He said that spirit of Pakistan movement was needed to develop and build beloved homeland and bring it at par with the developed nations.