Ceremonies oozing patriotism mark Independence Day

LAHORE:15 August: Lahoris on Monday marked 70th Independence Day of Pakistan with national zeal and fervour. The day dawned with special prayers for security, progress and prosperity of the country followed by a 21-gun salute at Mehfooz Shaheed Garrision. A number of families, personnel of the Pakistan Army witnessed the ceremony. A number of flag-hoisting ceremonies, seminars and rallies arranged by the government, Pakistan Army, Rangers, political parties, Metropolitan Corporation Lahore, district administration, union councils, educational institutions were observed across the city. The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) arranged fireworks at Greater Iqbal Park, Aiwan-e-Quaid and Jilani Park. The fireworks dazzled the audience, which had come out in droves to mark the day. A mega event to mark the day was organised at Lahore Fort where Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif hoisted the national flag at the historic Alamagiri Gate of Lahore Fort. The chief minister also visited Iqbal's mausoleum and laid a floral wreath at the grave of Allama Iqbal and offered prayers for solidarity and prosperity of the country. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also visited the tomb of Allam Iqbal and offered fateha. A change of guard ceremony was held at Iqbal's mausoleum. Lahore Garrison Commander Major General Muhammad Amir inspected the ceremony and laid wreath at the grave of the great thinker and offered fateha. The Punjab Rangers also celebrated 70th Independence Day with traditional zeal at Wagah Border. A flag-lowering ceremony was held at Wagah Border, which was witnessed by people from all walks of life and army officials. Punjab Rangers Director General (DG) Major General Azhar Naveed Hayat Khan was the chief guest on the occasion. Not only Muslims but Christian community also marked Independence Day and arranged a special prayer ceremony at Cathedral Church. The Child Welfare Protection Bureau, Women Development Department (WDD) and the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) held flag-hoisting ceremonies to mark the day. WDD Additional Secretary Nadir Khalique and PCSW Secretary Muhammad Usman were the chief guests. Educational intuitions, including the Punjab University, Government College of Home Economics, Lahore, University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), University of Engineering and Technology (UET), University of Management and Technology (UMT) and the Government College University (GCU) celebrated the day by holding different ceremonies. A flag-hoisting ceremony at the Punjab University College of Art and Design was also held. Speaking on the occasion, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zaffar Mueen urged the nation to serve the country irrespective of personal interest. Addressing a grand flag-hoisting ceremony at the GCU's Bukhari Auditorium, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah laid stress on strengthening national institutions of the country, saying that Pakistan was the sixth largest country in the world by population, but, unfortunately, it was far below in the list of countries in socioeconomic indicators. The National Highways and Motorways Police (Central Zone) under the supervision of Zonal Commander (N-5 Central) DIG Mirza Faran Baig celebrated Independence Day by installing special stalls at all toll plazas from Lahore to Rahim Yar Khan. The NHMP distributed national flags, flowers and candies among motorists, especially children.Published in Daily Times, August 15th 2017.

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