KARACHI -  The 141th birthday of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was observed with national zeal on Sunday.

The day dawned with recitation of Holy Quran and later a change of guard ceremony was held at Quaid’s mausoleum. A smartly turned out contingent of cadets from the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul mounted ceremonial guard at Mazar of Quaid-e-Azam here as part of celebrations to mark the Father of Nation’s birthday. Major General Abdullah Dogar, commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy, reviewed the parade, laid wreaths, presented a salute and offered fateha at the mausoleum.

It is worth mentioning here that the first passing out parade of PMA was held on December 25, 1948. It was reviewed by the then Governor General of Pakistan, Khawaja Nazimuddin who presented the Quaid-e-Azam banner to the champion company. The Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul has the honour of being the only military institution designated as Quaid-e-Azam`s Own by the Quaid as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Academy. The guard mounting ceremony by PMA cadets is a regular annual feature to pay homage to the Father of the Nation.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah paid three visits to the Mazar-e-Quaid on Sunday. He made his first visit with his cabinet members and members of the Sindh Assembly to pay homage to the Quaid-e-Azam. Later, he accompanied PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and then PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to Mazar-e-Quaid to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation.

Karachi Deputy Mayor Dr Arshad Vohra also visited Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum in connection with his 141th birthday. He also laid wreaths and offered fateha. Later, the deputy mayor inaugurated a library, Muhammad Ali Jinnah Library, in Malir Zone.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah struggled for a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. He said, “Today we are living in an independent country due to his struggle.” He said the library was a gift for the residents of Malir on the birthday of the founder of Pakistan. He said that books had played a vital role to polish every successful man.

Moreover, special programmes were arranged at the head offices of various organisations and political parties to mark the 141th birthday of the Quaid-e-Azam. Cake cutting ceremonies were held and the speakers highlighted the teachings of the Quaid-e-Azam.

Members of the Aafia Movement also visited the Mazar-e-Quaid and lit 5,000 oil lamps to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation.

Speaking on the occasion, the speakers said that Quaid-e-Azam always talked about empowerment of women. They termed the detention of Dr Aafia Siddiqui against human rights and asked the rulers to play their role to have her released from the US prison.