Pakistan marks 66th Independence Day today
14 August, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The 66th Independence Day of Pakistan will be celebrated around the world today with traditional zeal and enthusiasm.
The day will dawn with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salute in all provincial capitals of Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Gilgit. Special prayers will be offered for the peace, solidarity and prosperity of the country and success of the long-drawn struggle of Kashmiris after Fajr prayers in all mosques. At 8.58 am, there will be a dramatic pause with sounding of sirens to herald the flag-hoisting events. All moving traffic on roads, rail and at sea will come to a halt for one minute.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will hoist the national flag at a ceremony at 9am at Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad, followed by playing of national anthem. The prime minister will then give his Independence Day message to the nation during the flag-hoisting ceremony. Fifteen-hundred students of federal government educational institutions will participate in the flag-hoisting ceremony. The national flag will be hoisted on principal public and private buildings and major parks during the day which is declared a public holiday.
The chief ministers will hoist flags at ceremonies in the morning and will host receptions in the afternoon at the provincial headquarters. Flag-hoisting ceremonies will also be held at Pakistan's missions abroad and at district headquarters across the country, Gilgit Baltistan and tribal areas. Universities, colleges and schools will organise functions, sports events, walks, declamation contests and patriotic songs competitions on the auspicious day.
Boy Scouts and Girl Guides will actively participate in the celebrations, which will also be marked by special tree plantation campaign. In Islamabad, the Capital Development Authority will decorate all major roads and avenues with flags, banners and buntings to give a festive look to the city. People, especially children, have been fervently preparing for the day and have bought national flags to hoist atop their homes and on bicycles, motorcycles and cars. Public and private buildings will be illuminated at night.