Special prayers were offered in the provincial capital’s mosques for peace and prosperity in the country as the nation celebrated Pakistan Day with fervour on Monday. Ceremonies were held across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the tribal areas and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) to mark the day when the Pakistan Resolution was passed 75 years ago.
Morning prayers were followed by a 21-gun salute at the first light of day in Jinnah Park. Rallies and walks were held by students across the city to condemn terrorism and demand peace in the region. Jamaat-ud-Dawa also took out a rally.
People displaced from North Waziristan Agency (NWA) observed Pakistan Day at a ceremony arranged for them at Baran IDP camp in Bakakhel, Bannu.
Students performed tableaus, sang national songs and gave speeches highlighting the importance of independence. Soldiers and personnel of other paramilitary forces also performed a march and traditional dances.
Gifts and prizes were later distributed among the displaced students who took part in the festivities.
Addressing the gathering, Baran camp in charge Brigadier Mukhtiar appreciated North Waziristan’s tribesmen for extending their cooperation to the forces to clear their areas of militants. “By leaving their homes, tribesmen made it easy for the army to target terrorists. With their help, militants’ network in Waziristan has been dismantled,” he said.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Maulana Abdul Hai Haqqani, a displaced elder from NWA said by celebrating Pakistan Day, they were reaffirming their faith in the sovereignty and solidarity of the country.
Usman Khan, an elder displaced from Eidak said, “Although we have left our homes behind, we are determined to share the jubilation of the event with rest of the country.”
Separately, scores of NWA IDPs protested against the proposed relocation of a ration distribution point from Domail to another part of Bannu.
The protesters said a large number of IDPs are living in Domail and its surrounding areas and would be greatly inconvenienced if the ration point is relocated.
G-B residents awarded
Two residents of G-B were honoured with civilian awards for their contributions to the country as Pakistan Day was observed in the region.
In a ceremony held at Governor House, Governor Barjees Tahir presented the Tamgah-e-Imtiaz to G-B Scouts Sepoy Mir Nawaz and Pride of Performance Award to Didar Ali, a craftsman.
Nawaz is a resident of Naltar Valley and has been awarded for excelling in the sport of skiing and winning several awards for the country, while Ali hails from Hunza Valley and has been awarded for striving to keep local handicraft and embroidery alive. Ali’s creations have been displayed at various exhibitions in the past 15 years.
“This day reminds us of the sacrifices made by our forefathers to get a separate country for Muslims,” said Tahir after hoisting the national flag.
In a ceremony arranged at the historic Bab-e-Khyber, MNA Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi and Khyber Agency Political Agent Shahab Ali Shah hoisted the national flag in Jamrud.
A gathering was later held at Jamrud Jirga Hall where schoolchildren presented tableaus and performed songs. Similar functions also took place at Ghallanai Children Academy Ali Masjid and Jamrud High School.
A motorbike and car rally was also organised in Bahai Dage, Khwaizai near the Pak-Afghan border in Mohmand Agency. A large number of locals and army officials attended the rally.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2015.