Pakistan Independence Day 2019.

Arriving back in Pakistan on Independence Day is always a thriller.  At Jinnah International Airport in the early dawn I was greeted with the Call to Prayer.  It was dark and misty.  Then travelling along the highway to my destination a magnificent enormous sun appeared before us shedding her glory over the country on this Independence Day and it showed off the miraculous carpet of green  where the desert is blooming because of the deluge of rain that Pakistan both endured and welcomed over the past week.  I finally arrived back home to see the change of guard ceremony on TV which was held at the Quaid-i-Azam’s Muhammad Ali Jinnah mausoleum in Karachi. 

I caught up with the events heralded for the day. The national flag hoisting ceremony was held all over Pakistan this morning to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day as Pakistan Dedicates the 72nd Independence Day to Kashmir.

The day started with a 31 gun salute in the federal capital Islamabad and 21 gun salute at the provincial capitals. In Islamabad, at 9:59 am a siren was sounded and the traffic came to a standstill for one minute. The President raised the national flag accompanied by the national anthem. The president addressed the nation.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is celebrating the Independence Day of Pakistan in Pakistan-administered Kashmir where he addressed the legislative assembly after India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

He was accompanied by several ministers, who flew with him to Muzaffarabad and held an all-parties’ conference there.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had visited Muzaffarabad on the occasion of Eid on Monday and had prepared the ground for Imran Khan’s visit. “Pakistani nation and political leadership is united on the issue of Kashmir and one voice will be sounded on August 14 in support of Kashmiris,” Qureshi had said.

While addressing the ceremony in Islamabad, President Alvi said that today the world was watching how the people of Pakistan were standing with their Kashmiri brothers.

“We will never leave our Kashmiri brothers alone whatever the circumstances,” he said. “Kashmiri people are ours and we are Kashmiris’. We think of their pain as our pain.” He went on to say that Pakistan has remained with them and will continue to do so.

President Alvi said Pakistan does not accept Indian measures which violated Simla Agreement, referring to New Delhi’s revocation of Kashmir’s special status.

“Pakistan fully supports Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” he said, adding that Pakistan has always supported Kashmiris and will continue to stand by them.

He said the presence of 900,000 troops has made Kashmir the highest militarized zone. “Blocking of communication and freedom of expression is a serious violation of human rights of Kashmiris,” said the President.

He said Pakistan does not want war but will fully defend itself if war is imposed on it. The war will not be limited between the countries; rather its impact will be felt in the whole world, said President Alvi, urging India to be reasonable.

The president also demanded the human rights arm of the UN and OIC constitute an inquiry commission to investigate the human rights violations in Indian-Administered Kashmir.

The government has said that Independence Day will be celebrated as Kashmir Solidarity Day to express full support for the people of Kashmir. Protest rallies will be held across the country and seminars are being organized to highlight the plight of oppressed people in Indian-Administered Kashmir.

The government of Pakistan has revealed a special logo for Independence Day which reflects its theme of ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’.A change of guard ceremony was held at Quaid-i-Azam’s Muhammad Ali Jinnah mausoleum in Karachi. Pakistan Naval Academy cadets assumed ceremonial guard duty at the mausoleum to mark the Independence Day celebrations. A floral wreath was laid by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah along with the naval staff chief as well as officers and personnel of the Pakistan Navy.

Pray for the Nations because all is not well.

Rebecca Conlon.

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