Independence Day Being Observed In Simple Manner
The nation is observing 64th Independence Day with great fervor and simplicity in the wake of flood disaster.
The day began with special prayers in the mosques for the unity, solidarity and prosperity of the country.
President Asif Ali Zardari has cancelled August 14 function at Presidency and will spend the day in the northwest Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and eastern Punjab provinces, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.
The celebration began with a 31-gun salute at the Federal Capital and 21-gun salute at all the Provincial Headquarters. Quran Khawani would be held for the Martyrs of Pakistan Movement for their eternal peace.
The national flags were hoisted on government and private buildings. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani hoisted the national flag in a ceremony at Convention Center, Islamabad.
The guard changing ceremony was also held at Mazar-e Quaid.
Kashmiris across the world are celebrating 14th August as solidarity day with Pakistan.
The Independence Day celebrations in Lahore were started with the guard changing ceremony at Mazar-e Iqbal. Major General Mazhar Jamil laid wreath at the Mazar and offered Fateha. Frontier Corps’ personnel paid the duty of guards after ceremony.
President Asif Ali Zardari urged Pakistanis to mark the anniversary of the country’s birth today by helping the millions displaced by its worst ever floods that have killed 1,600 people and savaged the economy.
“The best way to celebrate the Independence Day this year is to reach out to the victims of this natural disaster, heal their wounds and help them to help themselves,” Zardari said in an e-mailed statement.
The disaster in Pakistan, the world’s sixth most populous nation, is occurring 63 years after the country was carved off from India when both nations gained independence from British colonial rule. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan faces grave challenges included rehabilitating flood refugees, fighting terrorism and lifting an aid-dependent economy.
“Terrorists and extremists are out to impose their exclusive and conservative agenda on the peaceful Pakistani nation,” Gilani said in a statement. “Our national economy has been hit hard both by the ongoing war against terrorism and natural disasters.”
Pakistan’s army began its most concerted campaign to date against Islamic insurgents in its northwest in October and fighting has since spread to six of seven tribal agencies in the region. Militants have hit back with suicide bomb blasts and gun attacks on cities nationwide, killing hundreds of security personnel and civilians.
The floods may cut the nation’s economic growth in half, Pakistan’s Finance Secretary Salman Siddique said in an interview yesterday, with expansion falling up to 2.5 percentage points short of a 4.5 percent target.
Unprecedented destruction has led the World Bank to consider “reprogramming” $900 million at the Pakistani government’s request to deal with a disaster that’s had a worse impact than the earthquake of 2005, its President Robert Zoellick told reporters in Latvia yesterday.