Pakistan, India celebrate their Independence Days with patriotic fervor

August 16, 2018

TEHRAN - Pakistan and India, the two neighboring countries, celebrated their independence days, on August 14 and August 15 respectively, with grand celebrations and colorful ceremonies. It was 72nd Independence Day for both the countries.

In Pakistan, an amazing display of fireworks was put up in different parts of the country and important buildings were lit up. The day started with 31 gun salutes in the capital city and 21 gun salutes in provincial headquarters. The national flag was hoisted at all important public and private buildings.

The nation also paid homage to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, by visiting his grave in Karachi.

The main ceremony was held on Tuesday morning, August 14, at Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad, where President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest. Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk was also present along with other bureaucrats and diplomats.

The president and caretaker prime minister waved the national flag, after which the former delivered a speech. “This is the day when our hopes materialise,” said President Mamnoon. “On August 14, our resolve is further renewed. Pakistan has faced numerous challenges so far. Our country is a blessing for us.”

The army initiated a mission to turn the country green with a tree plantation. Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa announced that 10 million trees will be planted during the monsoon season.

In India, which celebrated its Independence Day on August 15, a day after Pakistan, the celebrations were equally marvelous. National flag was hoisted at all important government buildings across the country. The biggest ceremony was held in New Delhi, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all senior ministers and former guests in attendance.

After paying tribute to country’s founder Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, PM Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort, his fifth speech after the BJP-led NDA came to power in 2014.

He highlighted the achievements of his government and said the country has made rapid advancements in the past four years compared to the Congress-led UPA government, listing down the progress in the economy and other sectors.

PM Modi also said the world's approach towards India has seen a change in the past four years with global agencies saying the India economy is going to grow even bigger. He also cited IMF's recent report which said India's economy is an elephant that's starting to run. “India is now the land of reform, perform and transform. We are poised for record economic growth,” PM Modi said.

He also announced that by 2022, India will send its manned space mission. “It is my pleasure to announce that by 2022, in India’s 75th year of Independence or even before that, India will take the tri-colour to space,” said PM Modi.

The erstwhile British India was divided in August 1947 into Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India, a move engineered by the British. While Jinnah became the founder of Pakistan, Gandhi became the founder of India. The partition displaced fifteen million people and killed more than a million.

“Today, both India and Pakistan remain crippled by the narratives built around memories of the crimes of partition, as politicians (particularly in India) and the military (particularly in Pakistan) continue to stoke the hatreds of 1947 for their own ends,” writes noted historian and author William Dalrymple.

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