MIRPUR (AJK)-The Kashmiris are all set to celebrate the 71st Independence Day of Pakistan today with traditional zeal and fervor and to renew the Kashmir freedom pledge across Azad Jammu Kashmir.

Like previous years, the Kashmiris are fully prepared to celebrate the Independence Day of Pakistan with great enthusiasm and devotion coupled with the renewal of the pledge to continue the struggle for the right to self-determination.

The AJK government spokesperson told this Correspondent here on Monday that the sanctified day will dawn with special prayers in the mosques all over AJK for the stability, prosperity, security and speedy progress of Pakistan and for the early success of the Kashmiris' freedom struggle.

National flag hoisting ceremonies, rallies, processions and the colourful functions under the aegis of various public and private sector, social and political organisations in all the small and major towns and cities of Azad Jammu & Kashmir will be the hallmark of the day.

It will be a state holiday across AJK on the occasion. Major national flag-hoisting ceremony in AJK will be held in the capital city of Muzafferabad. Similar flag hoisting ceremonies will be held in all other 10 district headquarters of AJK including Mirpur, Kotli, Bagh, Sudhanoti, Bhimbher, Rawalakot, Havaili, Hattiyan and Neelum valley. Such ceremonies will also be held at all tehsil headquarters as well as subordinate towns and villages.

In Mirpur, a grand Jashan-e-Azadi Pakistan rally under the auspices of the local traders body - Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajraan (Ittehad group) will be held at 10.00am in front of Quaid-e-Azam Stadium.

"The grand rally by all segments of the civil society including the local business frternity will be hallmark of the day," said organization's President Chaudhry Mahmood, while unveiling the capacious day-long programmes by the local business fraternity to celebrate the national day.

Unveiling the salient features of the colourful programmes of celebration of the independence day of Pakistan, Mahmood told media that celebration of the Independence day of Pakistan this year too, will be the manifestation of the Kashmiris' deep love and affection with Pakistan. Pakistan runs through the blood of the people of Jammu Kashmir same as Kashmir runs through the blood of our Pakistani brethren, he said.

He said that Pakistan is incomplete without its jugular vein - Kashmir. He said that Kashmiris' ongoing indigenous struggle for freedom of occupied Jammu Kashmir from Indian clutches was in fact the struggle for completion of Pakistan. The people of Jammu Kashmir dwelling either side of the line of control and rest of the world consider Pakistan - their sole ultimate destination in all respect, he said.

Paying rich tributes to the brave armed forces of Pakistan, Mahmood said that people of Jammu & Kashmir are always prepared to make the defence of every inch of the motherland invincible; and for the freedom of occupied Jammu Kashmir along with the valiant armed forces of the country. "Only our armed forces can safeguard the ideological and geographical frontiers of the country," he concluded.

The national flag will also be hoisted on all the private and public buildings. A great enthusiasm is being witnessed among the people including children found hectically busy in purchasing the national flags of Pakistan from the bazaars for hoisting atop their houses and vehicles on the national day. The private and official buildings have been beautifully decorated with the colourful buntings and national flag of Pakistan.

The participants of the flag hoisting ceremonies will sing the national anthem simultaneously with the nationwide programme for fluttering of the national flag at stipulated time when the traffic on all the roads will come to a halt and the nation will join singing the national anthem. Full-dress contingent of police and the boy scouts will salute the national flag of Pakistan in the ceremonies to be held at district and tehsil headquarters, local organisers of the scheduled Independence day of Pakistan ceremonies said.

In Mirpur district, the major national ceremony will be held at the Municipal Corporation hall where the national flag of Pakistan will be unfurled, according to Mirpur District Information Officer Javed Malik.

The schoolchildren on the occasion will sing the national songs on musical instruments to express their fullest love and solidarity with Pakistan from the core of their heart. The flags of Pakistan and AJK will also be hoisted atop all the major buildings of private and public sector organisations to mark Jashan-e-Azadi Pakistan celebrations, he added.