Independence Day Festivities Toned Down Amid Floods
LAHORE: The traditional Independence Day festivity was not witnessed this Saturday in the provincial capital this year, as the government remained busy in relief efforts for flood victims and the city continues to mourn, Daily Times has learnt.
Flag-hoisting ceremonies were held in different parts of the city, including the Punjab Assembly, but they lacked the traditional pomp and show. Political parties also did not show much enthusiasm on the occasion and celebrated the event with much simplicity. The Jamaat-e-Islami held an internal flag-hoisting ceremony at their party headquarters in Mansoora.
Solidarity: Citizens also remained indoors for most of the day despite a pleasant shower of rain in different parts of the city. According to the Meteorological Department weather forecast, the maximum and minimum recorded temperatures in the city had fallen to 31.7 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. Even the pleasant shift in the weather could not bring a large number of people out of their homes, and only a scant few were witnessed in parks and recreational places such as Minto Park, the Lahore Zoo, Lawrence Garden and Race Course Park. Even those who had come out with children expressed their grief over the “unprecedented” crisis the country is facing. “The children just insisted that we go out… we all know the catastrophe that has hit the country…besides, Ramazan has also started and we should all pray for some divine blessing during this hard time… a human effort cannot compensate for such huge losses,” said Fawad Tarrar, who had come to Race Course Park with his family.
Ceremonies: Many hospitals also had flag-hoisting ceremonies, having declared earlier on that they would celebrate Independence Day with simplicity. Ceremonies were held at Services Hospital, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Several youths however, continued to celebrate, and drove around the city with painted faces in cars draped in the national flag. Many people predicted that they would turn up in even larger numbers at night.