LAHORE - The 132nd birth anniversary of the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, is being celebrated across the country with national spirit and zeal on Thursday (today). The government has announced a public holiday in Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to mark the death anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam. The national flag will be hoisted at the government buildings throughout the country and AJK. Special prayers will be offered in the mosques after Fajar prayers for the soul of the Quaid-e-Azam. State-owned PTV, private television channels and Radio have arranged special programmes on the life, achievements and desires of the great leader. Scout rallies and march-pasts of schoolchildren will also be held across the country. A 31-gun salute in the Federal Capital and 21-gun salute in provincial capitals would be given to the Founder of Pakistan. A number of political, social, cultural and educational organisations have chalked out programmes to mark the day. In Lahore, Tehreek-e-Pakistan Workers' Trust will organise a special ceremony at Aiwan-e-Karkunan-e-Tehreek-e-Pakistan with the collaboration of Nazria-e-Pakistan Trust. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif will be the chief guest. He will cut the cake and distribute gold medals among 47 persons for their contribution in the Pakistan Movement. In his message on the birth anniversary of the Founder of Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari has said the Quaid had envisioned Pakistan as a democratic country, guaranteeing the welfare of the masses. "It was indeed unfortunate that due to dictatorships and unrepresentative rules in the past, the country had been caught in a cycle of extremism, poverty, unemployment and inflation," he said. President said that militants and their godfathers want to make Pakistan a security-driven state instead of a welfare-oriented state. We need to appreciate that democracy, development and social and human welfare are no less guarantors of peace and security, he said adding that Quaid-e-Azam believed in the power of ballot and not bullet and stood for the rule of law, respect for human rights, tolerance, pluralism and honouring the mandate given by the people. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has expressed the firm resolve of the government to transform Pakistan into a strong, prosperous and modern Islamic welfare state in accordance with the wishes of Father of the Nation. "We are celebrating 132nd birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation whose exemplary courage and dedication to the cause of Muslims of South Asia made it possible for us to be citizens of a free, independent and sovereign Islamic state," the PM said. "Quaid-e-Azam defied the hostile forces that gathered to deprive the Muslims of the subcontinent of their rights and liberties. "It was due to efforts of Jinnah that Muslims of the subcontinent were crowned with success and emerged as an honourable and sovereign nation. "Despite ups and downs in the past, Pakistan today is a living tribute to political genius and farsighted vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. "We should pledge to work wholeheartedly and dedicatedly to build a strong and prosperous Pakistan according to the wishes of Father of the Nation," the Prime Minister said.