Pakistan celebrates Independence Day with traditional zeal


ISLAMABAD — Pakistanis on Tuesday celebrated its Independence Day on Friday with rallies across the country.

The celebrations of the 73rd anniversary of Independence Day began with traditional zeal and fervor across the country as a change of guard ceremonies were held at Jinnah Mausoleum in Karachi and Iqbal's Mausoleum in Lahore.

In their Independence Day messages, Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation, recalled the sacrifices of the country's forefathers and those who fought for and laid down their lives in defenses of the country.

The president called upon the nation to "stand firm and work for progress and prosperity" of the country. He urged the people to stay united in order to meet the challenges that are being faced by Pakistan.

President Alvi also used the occasion to assure whom he called the “resilient people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir” that Pakistan will “continue to support them in their just struggle for their right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council resolutions." Both India and Pakistan lay claim to the disputed region.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his holiday statement, “The day is an occasion to pay tribute to all those sons of the soil who laid their lives while defending and protecting territorial as well as ideological frontiers of the motherland.”

The prime minister said that the nation's heart is profoundly grieved by the sufferings of our brethren in Indian Kashmir who are facing military siege for the past one year. He reaffirmed Pakistan's support for occupied Kashmir's residents' struggle for their right to self-determination and promised to raise the issue on every forum.

PM Khan pledged to "continue pursuing" the ideals of the nation's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is better known as Quaid-e-Azam in Pakistan.

Various political, religious, and government organizations, and the public at large, celebrated the occasion with the same enthusiasm by following the coronavirus preventive measures outlined by the government. — Agencies