Islamabad/rawalpindi - tahir niaz/ israr ahmed - Mobile phone service remained suspended in the capital yesterday and will continued to be suspended today as part of the security measures taken on the eve of Independence Day celebrations.

On the other hand, streets and roads have been decorated with banners and national flags. Special stalls were set up in the city markets and bazaars for the sale of national flags, green caps and buntings. People are expressing great enthusiasm for the Independence Day celebrations. Children are taking keen interest in purchase of national flags, badges, stickers and other related items. National flag is being seen flattering on vehicles and bikes.

Capital Development Authority (CDA) had planned different programmes for celebrating the day. A marvelous display of fireworks in connection with the August 14 celebrations was arranged by the authority at Multipurpose New Parade Ground Shakarparian, Islamabad at 11:59pm sharp where a large number of people were expected to gather to watch the colourful event.

The day will dawn with special prayer at mosques after Fajar prayer for solidarity, prosperity and integrity of the country. 31-gun salute will be presented in the federal capital in the morning.

On the other hand, strict security measures would be observed by the law enforcing agencies so that no untoward incident takes place. The capital police have decided to deploy heavy contingents of police at sensitive points.

As per plan, 2,500 cops would perform security duties on the occasion while additional strength would be deployed at main shopping centres and markets, public places, especially parks. Mobile Reserve police will also remain alert while contingents of Rangers and FC will also patrol the city roads the whole day. Anti-Terror Squad, Bomb Disposal Squad and Quick Response Force Unit would also be on high alert on the occasion. Meanwhile, preparations for celebrating Independence Day have been finalised by the Pindities here. The people, including aged men, women, youngsters and even children are showing keen interest and enthusiasm to celebrate the day with traditional zeal and fervour while the whole city has been give a bridal look.

The roads, streets, bazaars, plazas, shopping malls, schools, colleges, universities, governmental and semi governmental buildings have been decorated with electric colourful bulbs, buntings, national flags in areas of Saddar, Katheri, GT Road, Civil Lines, Airport Road, Jhanda Cheechi, Murree Road, Commercial Market, Peshawar Road, Pirwadhai, Misrial Road, Chuhr Chopal, Adaila Road, Chungi Number 22, Tench Bhatta, Dhoke Syedan, Shakrial, Double Road and Faizabad.   

National flags could be seen hoisted on the cars, motorcycles, trucks, mini wagons while the huge-sized flags could also be witnessed fluttering atop the government and private buildings, houses, markets and shops.

Children have decorated their cycles and the elders their motorcycles with flags and stickers. The sale and purchase of national flags, buntings, badges, caps, white-green shirts and ribbons have got a momentum everywhere in the city.

The people said that the prices of all these items have shot up and the shopkeepers claimed that they had bought these items on very high prices and could not sale on cheaper prices.

The police under the supervision of Regional Police Officer (RPO) Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja, City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi and SSP (Operations) Karamat Ullah Malik devised a comprehensive security plan to guard the Independence Day celebrations. Similarly, Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Shoaib Khurram Janbaz and his force of traffic wardens have also put a significant traffic plan to avoid traffic rush in Rawalpindi and in Murree where arrival of tens of thousands of tourists are expected.  The flag hoisting ceremonies will also be held in the offices of RPO, CPO, Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Zahid Saeed and District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajid Zafar Dall, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), TMA Potohar and Rawal Town, RDA and WASA today (Friday).  

Rescue 1122 Spokesman Waqas told that a flag hoisting and cake cutting ceremony would also be held at the Central Rescue Station Chandni Chowk at 10:45am. The Secretary General Dr Rizwan Naseer would be the chief guest on the occasion, he said.

Moreover, the politicians and other workers of many political and religious parties will also celebrate the Independence Day in the public secretariats by hoisting national flag.

Meanwhile, the independence ceremonies, including stage plays, seminars, walks, speech, national song contests and sports events were organised in the city’s all schools and colleges and universities. The government machinery, students, teachers, politicians, religious parties, minorities, doctors and representatives of NGOs were busy holding the Independence Day Ceremonies including hoisting of the national flags and cutting the cakes of Pakistan’s birth day. In this regard, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) city chapter organised a flag hoisting ceremony at Rawalpindi College of Commerce.

PTI Punjab Organiser Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Syed Shahid Pervaiz Gillani and other workers hoisted national flag, cut cake and prayed for development and prosperity of the country.

Minorities Welfare Organisation Pakistan also took out a rally in support of Pakistan Army at Lalkurti. Led by Inter Faith Harmony District Government Rawalpindi Member Jibran Maseh Gill, Pervin Javed and Om Parkash Narain, the marchers paid rich tributes to the martyrs of Pakistan Army. While addressing, the speakers said that Pakistan Army has been doing great job to flush out terrorists from the country. They said that the minorities were standing with Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and would render any kind of sacrifice for the safety of Pakistan.