People poured out onto the streets and roads to celebrate Independence Day on Monday night.
Liberty Market, The Mall, Gulberg’s Main Boulevard, Main Market and Firdous Market, and commercial areas in Defence were packed with revellers dressed in, and sometimes painted in, green and waving the national flag.
Many families visited stalls set up on The Mall where they could buy souvenirs and get the star and crescent painted on their faces. Five-year-old Muhammad Usman, who had his face painted, said he was very excited that he would soon be celebrating not just Independence Day on Tuesday, but Eid soon too.
The celebrations caused traffic hindrances in some areas, particularly where motorbikes and cars were parked illegally. Chief Traffic Officer Dr Usman Anwar told The Express Tribune that some 3,200 traffic police officials had been deployed to manage traffic on the night before Independence Day.
District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal participated in a full dress rehearsal for the August 14 ceremony at Hazoori Bagh where CM Shahbaz Sharif will be chief guest. Mengal heard national songs sung by students of Model Town High School and special children. The DCO thanked them and said each of the former would be awarded Rs1,000 and each of the latter Rs1,500. The students’ instructors would be awarded Rs5,000 each, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.