Pakistan celebrates 76 years of independence as leaders call for unity

By Staff Reporter | DAWN Aug 14, 2023

Pakistan is celebrating the 76 years of independence today (Monday) with patriotic zeal and fervour, with commemorative ceremonies being held in cities across the country.

The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in the provincial headquarters.

Change of guard ceremonies were also held at Mazar-i-Quaid in Karachi and Mazar-i-Iqbal in Lahore.

Further, a flag hoisting ceremony was also held in Islamabad where President Dr Arif Alvi was the chief guest.

PM, president call for national unity

In their messages for Independence Day, President Alvi and outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasised the need for national unity to surmount social, political, economic and security challenges.

“Let’s resolve that we will not hesitate to offer any sacrifice for the security, prosperity and development of the country,” the president said.

Alvi extended congratulations to all compatriots and urged a renewed commitment towards building a stronger, more prosperous Pakistan, as “envisioned by the Father of the Nation”.

“I urge my fellow countrymen to work for the welfare and uplift of deprived sections of our society. Let’s pledge to uphold the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance, forgiveness, socio-economic justice, and moral and ethical values, as enunciated by Islam,” the president said.

On this important day, the president said, the nation should also remember their oppressed brothers and sisters in held Kashmir, who have been facing Indian atrocities for decades.

“We stand with our Kashmiri brethren and assure them of unwavering and continuous political, diplomatic, and moral support for their legitimate right to self-determination,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, the outgoing prime minister underlined the need to summon the spirit that marked the Independence Movement and employ the lesson of unity and self-belief to chart the way forward.

“There is no denying the importance of many milestones we have achieved in the last seven and a half decades, often against opposing circumstances. We have faced the worst natural disasters, conflicts and wars and always managed to build back better,” he said.

The outgoing premier extended his heartfelt congratulations to the entire nation, including overseas Pakistanis, on the occasion of the Independence Day.

“Today, we pay rich tributes to the men, women and children who got together under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah to struggle for the creation of a land they could call home,” he added.

In this process, the PM said, they set a magnificent example of dedication and devotion to the cause of Pakistan.

Furthermore, PM Shehbaz stated that on this day, the nation stands in unwavering solidarity with the oppressed people of held Kashmir, who are persistently fighting for their right to self-determination.

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