Pakistan celebrates its 66th Independence Day today (Wednesday) with traditional enthusiasm and vigour across the country. Lahorites from all walks of life are busy purchasing national flags and colourful buntings to express love for their homeland.
At 8:58 AM, like the rest of country, there will be a dramatic pause after which sirens will be sounded to herald the flag hoisting events.
All vehicular traffic on the city’s roads will come to a halt for one minute.
The bazaars of Ganpat Road, Urdu Bazaar, Alamgir Market, Garhi Shahu, Samanabad, Gulshan Ravi, Moon Market and Allama Iqbal Town all possessed a lot of mirth and happiness on the eve of the Independence Day.
“We wait the whole year for this day because it makes us happy, said a customer, Muhammad Arshad, who had come to Ichrra Market with his children to buy flags and buntings.
Furthermore, he said he had been celebrating Independence Day since his childhood and now his children also participated in the celebrations.
In the same market a student of class one, Zuha, told Pakistan Today that she was purchasing a national flag which she would hoist on the rooftop of her house. A large number of children were also seen buying flag-bearing badges and buntings in the market.
Numerous Lahori markets were thronged with men, women and children buying Independence Day accessories. Another young student, Muhammad Kamran, said that he had bought several badges from pocket money that he had saved.
The historic day will commence with 21 gun salutes and special post-Fajr prayers in various mosques for the progress and prosperity of the country. Dozens of flag hoisting ceremonies have also been arranged in the city at both the government and private level’s to celebrate the day in its true spirit.
A number of events have been chalked out to celebrate the day in a befitting manner and to pay homage to those who laid down their lives to create an independent motherland for the coming generations.
Lahoriites from various walks of life have decorated their houses, buildings, city shopping centres, bazaars and all the city’s main roads with national flags and fancy lights.
National songs, which give the message that whole the nation is united, are in the air and national flags have been hoisted atop important buildings to celebrate the day in the stature that it deserves.
Thousands of Lahoriis including women and children came out of their houses after the sunset on Tuesday to watch the decorations and illuminated buildings across the city. A mammoth crowd was witnessed at the Minar-e-Pakistan, Mall Road, Canal, Walled City, Railway Station and the Fortress Stadium.
Decorated buildings on the Mall Road were the hub of the celebrations with buildings including the Wapda House, General Post Office, Town Hall, Lahore High Court, State Bank of Pakistan, Punjab Assembly and the Governor House some of the most visited aesthetically pleasing decorated attractions for the city’s residents.
Special arrangements have been made by the political, religious, government and private business communities to celebrate the day.
Administrative personnel of the city play-lands, parks and other recreational and entertainment sites made special arrangements to attract children and families by beautifully illuminating their buildings and parks with national flags and buntings.
Additionally, the main flag hoisting ceremony will be held today at the Hazoori Bagh where the Punjab Chief Minister Shahaz Sharif will preside over the function.
The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has arranged another huge event for Wednesday evening at the Minar-e-Pakistan which will be attended by Punjab Assembly Speaker and other dignitaries.
Special debates and quiz programs have also been arranged at several educational institutions after which a national song competition will take place.
Furthermore, special security arrangements have been made in the city to maintain law and order situation.