Independence Day is being celebrated throughout the district with enthusiasm and fervour.
Faisalabad district officials said that all necessary preparations had been made with regards to Independence Day. “The biggest challenge has been dealing with security concerns in the district. Police officials and security guards have been placed at all major road junctions and outside major shopping centres and hotels,” district coordination officer (DCO) Naseem Sadiq said. The DCO urged that Independence Day be celebrated with zeal and unity. “We need to stand together in these troubled times and it is most important that this message stands out on Independence Day. Pakistan is struggling but we must all lend a hand to help it succeed,” he said.
The DCO said that the main flag hoisting ceremony would be held at the commissioner’s complex on Independence Day and he DCO directed concerned officers to ensure the ceremony goes off without a hitch.
The DCO directed that all officers and staff of the city district govt were required to participate in various events linked with Independence Day around the district. “I want the entire district to be green. For this one day, I hope that everyone thinks for Pakistan and that we all can work to change things for the better,” he said. The DCO also stressed that traffic arrangements be made safe on August 14. “All major roads and routes need to operate smoothly and traffic officials will be required on duty,” he said.
The DCO maintained that the all important roads, intersections, including eight bazars and clock towers as well as commercial and public places would be decorated with the banners bearing patriotic slogans.
The DCO directed the municipal services department to arrange the special cleanliness drive in the city. He ordered district officials to ensure several Independence Day events at schools and public halls on the day.
These include dramatic performances as well as debates. The DCO asked the ACs to chalk out similar programmes at the tehsil level and to ensure the maximum participation of students.
A large number of vendors have set up stalls of buntings, flags, banners, stickers and badges in different parts of the city. Residents have been flocking to these stalls to purchase flags and other Independence Day related merchandise.
“This is a day to celebrate and we intend to show how proud we are to be Pakistani,” said a resident Ijaz Hashmi, who was seen purchasing a box of buntings and badges for his children. The Faisalabad Arts Council has also arranged special programs on this occasion to celebrate the occasion and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad has chalked out various programs to mark Independence Day celebrations.
Meanwhile, inter-district competitions for football, cricket, volleyball, karate and taekwondo have been held on Saturday and will continue Sunday (August 13 and 14) to mark the 64th Independence Day.
The Punjab Olympic Association will also organise wrestling competitions at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) on Sunday. The contestants will wrestle wearing green and white body paint to mark the colours of the national flag.
“I want everyone to vow that this Independence Day will be different and that we will all work to rebuild and reform the nation our forefathers built,” the DCO said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.