The nation is celebrating its 76th Independence Anniversary today (Monday) with utmost national fervour.

The day dawned with a 31-gun salute at the federal capital and a 21-gun salute at the provincial headquarters.

Special prayers were offered in mosques for peace, solidarity and prosperity of the country.

A one-minute silence was observed throughout the country with the sounding of sirens to herald the flag-hoisting ceremony at nine in the morning.

A change of guards ceremony was held at the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi in the morning as well.

A smartly turned out contingent of cadets of the Pakistan Naval Academy assumed the charge.

Similarly, a change of guard ceremony took place at the Mazar-e-Iqbal in Lahore where Punjab Rangers handed over guard duties to the Pakistan Army.

President, PM felicitate nation

President Dr Arif Alvi and outgoing prime minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in their separate messages on Independence Anniversary extended heartfelt congratulations to the entire nation.

 

In his message, the president urged the nation to pledge on this day to uphold the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance, forgiveness, socioeconomic justice, and moral and ethical values, as enunciated by Islam.

He said the stories of those people, who faced hardships, to reach Pakistan, serve as a source of inspiration for our future generations.

PM Shehbaz said, “The day holds a special significance in our hearts, for this historic day saw an unprecedented freedom struggle culminating in the establishment of the State of Pakistan.”

He paid homage to the Quaid-i-Azam’s visionary leadership and other leaders without whom the dream of Pakistan could not see the light of day.

 

The prime minister said that as we celebrate the 76th Independence Anniversary today, we need to summon the spirit that marked the independence movement and employ the lesson of unity and self-belief to chart the way forward.

He vowed to stand in complete solidarity with the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and provide political, moral, and diplomatic support to them.

US lawmaker congratulates Pakistan

US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the founder and chair of the US House’s Congressional Pakistan Caucus extended her well wishes to the country.

“It is with tremendous pride and honour that I recognise Pakistan’s Independence Day,” she said in a video message recognising the country’s “resilience” in the face of adversity and devastating natural disasters.

“As chair of the US House’s Congressional Pakistan Caucus, I have travelled to Pakistan many times and saw with my own eyes the devastation of last year’s monsoon rains, but I also saw the resilience of the Pakistani people in the wake of this devastation,” she added before noting the aid and support extended to Pakistan by her government.

She also paid tribute to the Pakistani diaspora and their efforts in providing assistance to the flood affectees. “Still,” she admitted, “there is more to be done. Millions have been displaced, lands are slow to recover and food and water supplies are dwindling; but we are committed to working together to Pakistan in this time”.

“Our bonds of friendship and cooperation which have existed between the US and Pakistan are essential for maintaining regional security, strengthening democracy, improving opportunities for trade, education, women’s empowerment and humanitarian relief,” she said, “May God bless all of you. Happy Pakistan Independence Day. Pakistan Zindabad!”

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