LANDI KOTAL/ PESHAWAR/ DI KHAN: The sacrifices by police and army personnel and civilians have given a new lease of life to the nation and that these martyrs will be remembered forever.
This was stated by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai on Wednesday at the Civil Secretariat in Peshawar at a flag hoisting ceremony. A smartly turned out contingent of the provincial police department saluted the flag.
A siren rang at 8:58 am as a minute of silence was observed. Thereafter pigeons and white and green balloons were released while students and the police band sang songs.
Addressing the gathering, Yousafzai said that it was by dint of the sacrifice of police officers, army personnel and civilians that the entire nation was breathing the air of freedom.
“The people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) will also succeed in achieving freedom from the illegal occupation of Indian forces,” he said, adding that freedom was the biggest blessings which is only truly appreciated by those who have been deprived of it.
He added that the Indian government will no longer be able to prolong its unjust occupation of occupied Kashmir despite having a massive army situated in the disputed Himalayan valley.
Later, Yousafzai planted a sapling in the Secretariat garden. The ceremony was attended by the K-P Chief Secretary Salim Khan, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Kamran Bangash, MPA Rabia Basri, Town-II Nazim Faridullah Khan and a large number of officers.
The provincial government organised a flag hoisting ceremony at the Darazinda High School in Dera Ismail Khan on Wednesday to mark Independence Day. The ceremony was attended by security forces, political and religious leaders of the district while special prayers were offered for Kashmiri brothers and sisters.
Similar functions were also held in Tank, Kohat, South and North Waziristan, Kurram, Khyber, Mohmand, Bajaur, Bannu and South districts which were attended by the respective districts police, political, religious, students and district administrations.
In Tank, Sector Commander Brig Imtiaz organised a function where gifts were distributed amongst orphans and local students.
Meanwhile, solidarity rallies and flag hoisting ceremonies were held in Mardan, Swabi, and Malakand.
In rallies across K-P, leaders of political parties and religious groups expressed their unconditional solidarity with Kashmiri.
In the University of Peshawar, a flag hoisting ceremony was held while special prayers were offered.
Prayers were held at dawn on the campus for the prosperity of the country and well wishes for Kashmiris.
The main flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Convocation Hall. UoP Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Johar Ali raised the national flag amid uproar from the crowd.
Earlier, sirens echoed through the campus to observe a two-minute silence to remember martyrs and freedom fighters.
Later, the University Security Force saluted the flag in a march past.
Later, a “Bab-e-Khyber” model was inaugurated in the Pakistan Study Centre.
Large flag on the border
One of the largest national flags ever made, with a width of 34 feet and length of 3,600 feet and weight of 1,200 kilogrammes, has been put on display in a village bordering Afghanistan in the Khyber Tribal District on Wednesday.
As many as 1,000 local volunteers pitched in a million rupees to manufacture the flag. They then unfurled the flag, holding it up from the Khyber gate to the last post on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Michanai.
As they unfurled the last sections of the flag, locals who had gathered and those who were volunteering in holding it up chanted “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans and “Pakistan Army Paindabad” slogans.
Businessmen unfurl the national flag
A flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday to mark the 72nd Independence Day.
SCCI President Faiz Muhammad Faizi hoisted the national flag during the ceremony.
Participants of the ceremony on the occasion expressed their solidarity with the people of Kashmir and offered prayers for the integrity, solidarity and sustainable peace of the country, especially economic stability.
Faizi strongly deplored the Indian aggression on innocent Kashmiris and state-terrorism of Indian armed forces in occupied Kashmir. He praised the Pakistani armed forces
and the whole nation for observing the Independence Day as “Kashmir Solidarity Day”.
He added that August 14 reminds them about the commitment to give all kinds of sacrifices for economic development, stability and peace and prosperity of the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2019.