Pakistan celebrates 61st Independence Day today
August 14, 2008
Pakistan will celebrate its 61st Independence Day today with traditional enthusiasm and a renewed pledge to make the country prosperous and strong.A flag-hoisting ceremony will also be held in Tehran, where Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran, Mr. Shafkat Saeed, will perform the ritual.
After the Independence Day function, the ambassador will address a press conference.
Pakistan and India gained independence from Great Britain in August 1947. The splitting of the South Asian countries brought about one of history’s largest mass migrations, with 10 million people crossing borders into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu-majority India.
The day will dawn with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and with 21-gun salutes in provincial capitals. Special prayers will be offered for the integrity and solidarity of the country and unity of the Muslim Ummah (community).
Two minutes of silence will be observed at 8:58 a.m. after sirens herald the start of flag-hoisting ceremonies throughout Pakistan. All traffic will come to a standstill for one minute.
The main event of the day will be the flag-hoisting ceremony at Islamabad, where Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani will unfurl the national flag followed by the playing of the national anthem, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
Federal ministers, parliamentarians, senior government officials, notables, and diplomats plan to attend the ceremony.
Similar ceremonies will be held at provincial and district headquarters throughout the country.
The changing of the guard will take place at the mausoleums of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi and Allama Mohammad Iqbal in Lahore.
Social, cultural, religious, political and educational organizations have arranged various programs to mark the day in a befitting manner and to pay homage to national heroes and martyrs of the freedom movement.