Lahori’ites come out in droves to mark Pakistan Day

Strict security measures were put in place by Lahore police


Minar-e-Pakistan lights up under exploding fireworks for the Pakistan Day celebrations in Lahore. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS

LAHORE: Pakistan Day was celebrated across Punjab with national zeal with various functions and gatherings staged to mark the day in 1940 when the idea for a separate homeland for Muslims in South Asia was actually put on paper.

Strict security measures were put in place by Lahore police for the celebrations for the 77th Pakistan Day as speakers urged people to stand united for the welfare of the nation and give the message of solidarity.

At least 8,000 policemen, 10 SPs, 35 DSPs and 84 SHOs under the supervision of CCPO Amin Wains and DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf were deployed across the city.

The Lahore district administration organised a special programme at the Government Islamia High School in recognition of the services of leaders and workers of the Pakistan Movement.

Punjab School Education Minister Rana Mashhood and Lahore Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmed Syed were the chief quests of the ceremony, while teachers, students and people belonging to all walks of life participated in the ceremony.

“We all have to take Pakistan on the track of progress, prosperity and religious harmony in our personal capacity and we all, particularly teachers, should play their active role in this regard. Teachers make destinies of nations and today, our teachers should vow to work hard towards this goal,” Mashhood said.

Separately, Punjab Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Minister Khalil Tahir Sandhu said the protection of rights of minorities of the subcontinent, their culture and identity was an important element of the Pakistan Resolution.

He said the Pakistan Resolution convinced and motivated the minority communities to strongly support the creation of Pakistan for which they struggled hard shoulder to shoulder with Muslims in the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said that minorities played a pivotal role afterwards in the progress and development of the country.

The day was also celebrated at all PAF bases and installations with traditional zeal and fervour. The daylong celebrations started with special prayers. A guard-mounting and wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Allama Iqbal’s Mausoleum.

PAF Lahore Base Commander Air Commodore Salman Mahboob was the chief guest. A contingent of the Pakistan Air Force took over guard duties from Sutlej Rangers.

The chief guest laid a floral wreath and offered fateha at the grave of Allama Iqbal on behalf of chief of the air staff, airmen and civilians.

A ceremony was also held at Qila Gujjar Singh police lines and Dolphin Squad headquarters. A flag-hosting ceremony followed by prayers and salute by squads of police officials paid tribute on the occasion.

As far traffic arrangements were concerned, 1,500 traffic wardens, 190 patrolling officers, 34 inspectors, 12 DSP and three SPs under the supervision of CTPO Rai Ijaz Ahmad were deployed for maintaining traffic flow on roads.

Ijaz said they had established seven traffic response units to respond where ever traffic blockade was reported.

Purpose of these special squads was to report on immediate basis to any traffic mess in the city.

Police formed pickets in different parts of the metropolis to check suspicious persons and vehicles. Patrolling by Dolphin Squad and Police Response Unit was enhanced throughout the city.

Search operations were also conducted during last week around sensitive installation and venues where celebrations of Youm-e-Pakistan were supposed to be held.

Three-layer security was provided to these places. The participants were allowed entry after checking at three points; frisking, checking with metal detectors and passing through walk-through gates.

Snipers were deployed on nearby buildings.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2017.

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