HYDERABAD: The people of Sindh celebrated the 72nd Independence Day of Pakistan on Wednesday while reiterating solidarity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) during official and private events and activities. The streets in the urban and semi urban centres seethed with boisterous people singing and dancing to the tunes of the national anthem. At official events the police presented the guard of honour and school and college students made passionate speeches, sang the national anthem and performed tableaus.
In Hyderabad the central ceremony was held at the secretariat of Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA). Hyderabad Commissioner Muhammad Abbass Baloch, AIG Waliullah Dal, DIG Naeem Ahmed Shaikh, Deputy Commissioner Syed Aijaz Ali Shah and SSP Sarfaraz Nawaz Shaikh hoisted the flag and cut a cake.
Speaking on the occasion, the Commissioner said that Pakistanis are a peace loving nation and people belonging to different religious, ethnic and sectarian identities live in peace, harmony and with freedom in the country. "On the other hand India has exposed its ugly face to the world by unleashing terror on the millions of Muslims who live there specially the Kashmiris."
Hyderabad Deputy Commissioner Syed Aijaz Ali Shah said that human history is witness to the fact that whenever political movements are subjected to brutal suppression they end up becoming more stronger. "God willing the Modi government will also face failure and their reign of cruelty and terror will come to an end."
AIG Dal and other dignitaries also spoke. Another official event was organised at the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation's office where Acting Mayor Suhail Mehmood Mashadi hoisted the flag.
Independence Day ceremonies also took place at Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), Sindh University (SU), Mehran University of Engineering and Technology and Sindh Agriculture University, among other higher education institutions. LUMHS Vice Chancellor Dr Bikha Ram Devrajani said marking Kashmir solidarity day along with Independence Day reaffirmed support to Kashmiris suffering atrocities at the hands of Indian troops.
"The Pakistan government and the country's people will continue to extend their political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris till they achieve their right to self-determination," he said adding that August 14 also reminded the nation of the objectives that led to the creation of an independent Muslim state.
SU VC Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat said Pakistan is their pride, identity, love and land that has come into being after innumerable sacrifices of their elders. He said the nation on this day recalled the pre-independence ordeals which their elders underwent before they were able to get a separate independent state. "Dropping of cluster munitions, restricting public movement, scuffling freedom of expression as well as opinion and subjecting the populace to the worst imaginable atrocities are doomed to disappear soon," Burfat predicted.
Sindh Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah said at a ceremony in Umerkot district that all efforts to stifle the voice of Kashmiri people will go in vain and the freedom movement will yield successful results. "India has failed and Indian cruelties stand exposed before the world."
He referred to the ongoing curfew in the Valley as an unprecedented lock down making millions of people confined to their homes. Shah said repealing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution to deprive IoK of its special status was the biggest betrayal by the Indian state in the last 70 years.
"Our forefathers gave many sacrifices to secure a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia. Today the people of IoK are giving the same sacrifices for their posterity," observed MPA Syed Aijaz Ali Shah Bukhari while speaking at the Indus Medical College in Tando Muhammad Khan district.
Matiari District Council Chairperson Makhdoom Fakhruz Zaman deplored that even the sheer scale of Indian brutality in Kashmir has failed to awaken global conscience and the champions of human rights.
Sanghar District Council Chairperson Khadim Hussain Rind said that political leaders like former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto should also be remembered on this occasion because of their invaluable services for the nation. Jamshoro DC Captain (R) Fariduddin Mustafa paid tribute to the martyrs of the Pakistan Army, Rangers and police who gave their lives to protect the country from the menace of terrorism.
"Without the sense of responsibility on part of all individuals, loyalty with the motherland will remain meaningless," said Thatta DC Usman Tunio. He added that the respect of law, keeping the neighbourhood and surroundings clean and a sense of service towards other people of the society are indispensable for a strong and civilised nation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2019.
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