CHITRAL/ PESHAWAR: The spirit of patriotism has ramped up in the province and tribal areas as people are all set to celebrate Independence Day on Sunday (today). In Chitral, the festivities started on Saturday with a polo match.
At Paraplegic Centre in Hayatabad, Peshawar celebrations were held for the first time. The festivities started a day earlier, on Saturday, for which the centre was decorated in green and white.
Over 150 people, including patients — men, women and children — got their faces painted in green and white and gathered at the hall of the centre. They sang national songs – some of the patients also participated in different competitions arranged for the occasion.
While talking to The Express Tribune prior to attending the function, Paraplegic Centre Hayatabad Chief Executive Syed Muhammad Ilyas said the government was kind enough to increase the centre’s budget beyond the administration’s expectations. He added governments of other provinces should also step forward and play their role as the centre also accommodates patients from other provinces.
“This is not only for residents of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, but we also accommodate patients from other provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir,” he said. “[Therefore] we need more resources for better facilitation.” He added it was the only organisation which catered to the needs of patients at par with the international standards. “We are satisfied with the K-P government’s substantive increase [in funds] but we still want to do more for patients with spinal cords injuries.”
He maintained that Rs15.4 million were spent on patients from other provinces, G-B as well as Kashmir, adding if other governments also extended support, the administration will further improve facilities for the patients.
On Sunday (today), a flag-hoisting ceremony will be held at Civil Secretariat, Peshawar. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak will be the chief guest on the occasion.
An Independence Day function will be held at Pakistan Academy for Rural Development in University Town in the city. Minister for Labour and Mineral Development Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli will be the chief guest on the occasion.
Similarly, K-P Right to Public Services Commission have also organised a function to mark the day with zeal and zest.
In Chitral, the celebrations started with a polo match held on Saturday between the team, Chitral First Polo, and the district police at Chitral Polo Ground. The people of Chitral enjoyed the match with great zeal. The match, that has 16 teams participating, was held under Jashn-e-Azadi Festival. Besides polo, table tennis would also be played under the banner of the festival.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2016.