Ramazan or not, youngsters had a ball on the capital’s major roads on the eve of Independence Day. Monday saw a number of cars decorated with flags and patriotic symbols whizzing along major roads with loud patriotic and pop music blaring.
Large crowds of youngsters assembled on Jinnah Avenue to mark 65 years of independence and showed off their patriotism with full zeal and fervour. The people, especially children, were enthusiastically purchasing national flags, buntings, posters, stickers and candles to decorate their homes on Tuesday.
Power outages seemed to be a non-existent problem, as all major government buildings including Parliament House, Radio Pakistan, Pakistan Television headquarters, the Supreme Court, the PM House, the Presidency, the Secretariat and Faisal Mosque were decoratively lit up.
The biggest public event was held at Fatima Jinnah Park, where the Capital Development Authority (CDA) arranged a fireworks show which attracted a large number of people. Musab Majid, who was there with his family, was very happy with the show and appreciated the child-friendly atmosphere.
Those at Jinnah Avenue said that despite feeling exhausted by fasting through the summer heat, they still had to come to the parade area. “I cannot compromise on this…for the last 10 years, I come here every Independence Day to enjoy a spin on my motorcycle,” said Ammar Ahmed, a resident of Sector F-7.
At some places, youngsters tried to block traffic junctions and began acting rowdy, but the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) quickly intervened. ITP had deputed 323 traffic wardens to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the city. ITP Spokesperson Shams Gill said the cops will perform duties at various points of the city and 35 police cars and 40 motorbikes have been arranged for patrolling. ITP also made special arrangements to control hooliganism at popular markets in the city.
However, some revelling youngsters seemed to have confused the meaning of Independence Day, as they told The Express Tribune, “It’s a day of freedom and the administration should allow youngsters to freely do whatever they want,” said a yougster before screeching off on Faisal Avenue.
In neighbouring Rawalpindi, motorcycle mechanics were busy removing silencers from motorbikes, the reason for which was unimpressively explained by a group of youngsters standing at Committee Chowk. “Without removing silencers from motorbikes, we cannot enjoy ourselves...It just sounds so great.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.