Pakistan celebrates 71st Independence Day with zeal and fervor

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University of Karachi students celebrate with a large national flag ahead of the upcoming Independence Day in Karachi on August 13, 2018. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP)
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University of Karachi students celebrate with a large national flag ahead of the upcoming Independence Day in Karachi on August 13, 2018. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP)
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In this file photo taken on August 12, 2018 shows a building decorated with the Pakistani national flag and illuminated for the Pakistan’s Independence day in Lahore. (ARIF ALI/AFP)
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A man rides on a motorbike with a national flag ahead of the country’s Independence Day in Islamabad, Pakistan August 13, 2018. (FAISAL MAHMOOD/REUTERS)
Updated 14 August 2018

Pakistan celebrates 71st Independence Day with zeal and fervor

  • The day was marked by a 31-gun salute in the federal capital with special prayers for peace and progress in the country
  • National flag is hoisted at all important public and private buildings across the country

Pakistan is celebrating its Independence Day today with patriotic zeal and fervor. The day began with special prayers for peace and progress in the country, and a 31-gun salute in the federal capital, Islamabad.
Early in the morning, the national flag was hoisted at all important public and private buildings. The day-long festivities include special seminars, documentaries, music and painting exhibitions.
The nation also paid homage and respect to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, by visiting his mausoleum in Karachi.
To spice up the festivities, vendors have set up stalls across the country to sell the country’s green and white flags, shirts, badges and balloons. The young and elderly alike are buying these things to show their patriotism.
“We are excited to celebrate our independence day and hope the incoming government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will do something extraordinary to make us a proud nation,” Zulfiqar Ali, 53, told Arab News while buying national flags from a stall in Islamabad.
He said Pakistan’s forefathers sacrificed their lives for a “great mission of independence from British rule” and it is now time to work hard to make it more strong and invincible.
Shazia Qambar, a teacher in an upscale area of the federal capital who is illuminating classrooms with national flags and posters with messages about the importance of independence, said schools try each year to educate their students through fun and games about significance of the independence day.
“This year we are arranging a national songs competition among our students on the school’s premises, besides screening some documentaries about the struggle of our ancestors to get the separate homeland,” she told Arab News.
On Independence Day, all important public and private buildings in Islamabad and all four provincial capitals are also illuminated in different colors and lights.
Pakistan’s Parliament is also being illuminated to mark the country’s 71st year of independence, where 329 newly elected lawmakers took the oath of their office on Monday and vowed to work for the betterment of the country.
“This day reminds us the unforgettable struggle and sacrifices made by our forefathers for next generations to live in freedom,” outgoing Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said after administering the oath to the legislators.
He said that this is a proud day for the Pakistani nation that is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. “Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah entrusted us with a sacred trust to transform Pakistan into a citadel of peace and a model for all other nations,” he said.
“We should rethink our plans, our actions and their outcomes for forging synergies in the best interest of our country and raising Pakistan to new heights of development,” he added.
Intellectuals and political analysts opine that Pakistan can emerge as a developed nation on the world map only if all the countrymen work together for the development of the downtrodden and poor.
“The key to progress of any country is quality education and rule of law,” Professor Tahir Malik, political analyst and academic, told Arab News.
He said the incoming government should utilize all available resources on human development and promotion of science and technology to turn Pakistan into a knowledge economy.
“On this important day, we should also commemorate the sacrifices of our valiant soldiers and countrymen who laid down their lives to defend the motherland,” he added.
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, political analyst, said that Pakistan enjoys a unique geographical location in the region and has played a positive role in peace and stability of the world.
“The entire nation is now looking up to the forthcoming democratic government for political and economic prosperity in the country,” he told Arab News, “We should also pledge on this independence day to fight social evils prevailing in the country.”


Fire at sawmill in Siberian village kills 11

Updated 21 January 2020

Fire at sawmill in Siberian village kills 11

  • Ten victims were identified as Uzbek nationals and one as a Tajik
  • The fire broke out in a single-story wooden building rented by an unnamed Chinese company and used as a dormitory for the sawmill workers

Moscow: A fire at a sawmill in a village in Russia’s Siberia killed 11 people and injured two more on Tuesday morning, emergency officials said. One person remains unaccounted-for.

Ten victims were identified as Uzbek nationals and one as a Tajik.

The fire broke out in a single-story wooden building rented by an unnamed Chinese company and used as a dormitory for the sawmill workers. It was most likely sparked by a malfunctioning electric heater, local authorities said. Firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours.

A total of 14 people — Uzbek, Tajik and Chinese nationals — lived in the building, in the Tomsk region. Two workers were able to get out but sustained injuries. The fate of the final occupant is unknown.

Russian police have opened a criminal probe.

Uzbek officials said they were working on identifying the bodies and transporting them back to Uzbekistan.

Earlier this month a fire at a greenhouse farm in a Moscow suburb killed eight migrant workers from Vietnam.