LAHORE - As the the 72nd Independence Day was observed as Kashmir Solidarity Day on Wednesday in the wake of latest Indian move to annex the occupied Kashmir by revoking article 370 of its constitution.

Flag-hoisting ceremonies were also held in the provincial capital to mark the day with national zeal and fervor.

The day dawned with a 21-gun salute in the provincial capital. A dignified flag hoisting ceremony was held at Hazoori Bagh, Lahore Fort. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Khan Buzdar and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar were chief guests.

Addressing the ceremony, the Punjab Governor said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would continue to support Kashmiris at political, diplomatic, social and moral fronts till their freedom.

the Chief Minister said that the whole Pakistani nation was celebrating Independence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day. .

Governor Sarwar said the PTI government wanted to bring the system of equality in accordance with the ideas of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal and according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He asked India to stop its ugly practice of committing genocide of innocent Kashmiri people in the occupied Kashmir. 

Ministers, Assembly Members, Consul General of Iran and China, Chief Secretary Punjab, IG Police, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Punjab, Commissioner Lahore Division, Secretary Information, high ranking civil and military officers, students and a large number of citizens also participated in the ceremony.  Also, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar and Governor Punjab Ch. Muhammad Sarwar hoisted national flag at Alamgiri Gate of Lahore Fort Speaker of Punjab Assembly Ch Parvez Elahi said barbarism of Modi government and recent steps had accelerated the spirit of jehad of Kashmiris and their destination of freedom was near.

Parvez said that the Kashmiri youth while reciting Kalma Tayyaba raised the slogan of “Kashmir baney ga Pakistan” and they were receiving bullets in their chests while carrying Pakistani flags. He mentioned the great sacrifices offered by the Muslims during Pakistan Movement and by the armed forces, security institutions and civilians after the independence.

The Independence Day at Lahore Arts Council was celebrated with great zeal and zest. Celebrations started with the flag ceremony and prayers for the prosperity of the country. The ceremony was attended by Chairperson Lahore Arts Council Ms. Moneeza Hashmi, Executive Director Ather Ali Khan, staff members and other visitors. A large number of people dressed in green and white visited Alhamra Arts Council and enjoyed the programs organized by the Alhamra Arts Council.