Quetta - Like other parts of country, the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated with national zeal and enthusiasm in Balochistan amid tight security.

A minute silence was observed to pay homage to the martyrs of Quetta Pishin Stop suicide blast last day.

The Independence Day was also marked as renewal of pledge with Pakistan to protect freedom at all costs. Civil and military leadership, besides civil society members in Balochistan, renewed their commitment to fight war against terrorism till elimination of the menace from the country.

Auspicious ceremonies at schools and colleges, rallies in cities and flag hoisting events were organized across Balochistan – stretching from Gwadar to Zhob – to mark the Independence Day with committed passion.

Participation of lawmakers, military and bureaucracy, high ranked officials, students, civil society members and general public in large number on the Independence Day sent a message of lively nation who marked its national day with dedication, commitment and passion.

As per reports, the celebrations were held in Quetta, Pishin, Chaman, Killa Abdullah, Chagai, Dalbandin, Nokandi, Sibi, Nasirabad, Jaffarabad, Kharan, Mekran, Turbat, Gwadar, Mastung, Kalat, Duki, Loralai, Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Zhob, Awaran, Musakhail, Muslim Bagh and Ziarat.

The Day - 14 August - dawned with 21-gun salute and people throughout the province offered special prayers after Fajr prayer for the prosperity and progress of country and Balochistan.

An impressive flag-hoisting ceremony was held at the Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat where Commissioner Sibi Division Dr Saeed Jamali was the chief guest.  In Quetta, an auspicious ceremony to mark the 70s Independence Day was held at Bugti Stadium where the prayers offered for the martyrs of Pishin Stop explosion and one minute silence was observed to pay homage them.

Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai was the chief guest on the occasion while lawmakers, high ranking civil and military officials and large number of citizens attended the event. Earlier, the ceremony started with the recitation of Holy Quran.

Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Balochistan Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Amir Riaz jointly hoisted the flag at the parade ground and a smartly turned out contingent of all the security forces of Balochistan offered salute.

A special cultural delegation from China also participated in the Independence Day celebrations during the parade. National songs were sung by renowned artists of the country.

Civil, military leadership and people of Quetta pledged to fight terrorism and not to let the sacrifices made by the martyrs of Pishin Stop go wasted. A grand display of fireworks was also made to culminate the ceremony.

In another flag-hoisting event was in Balochistan Assembly building where Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz, Speaker Balochistan Assembly Raheela Hamid Khan Durrani and provincial ministers, MPAs and officers were present. The flag was hoisted at the assembly lawn and National Anthem was played. Addressing on the occasion, Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri said that stability, sovereignty and interests of Pakistan won’t be comprised and the nation was ready to render any sacrifice for this cause.

Before Independence Day, enemies once again made an attempt to disrupt peace and sabotage freedom day celebrations, said Zehri, adding the terrorists intended to push country and particularly Balochistan into state of turmoil through a hatched conspiracy but they would not be allowed to achieve their ulterior motives.  The chief minister said a new era of development and prosperity was awaiting for country and Balochistan with completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and all civil and military leadership will foil the intrigues of all those who were hell-bent on creating law and order situation in the country.

Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz, speaking in Bugti Stadium, said that better law and order situation in Balochistan had seen a positive change during last few years and these Independence Day celebrations were a testimony to all this. He said the entire province was echoing with the slogans of Pakistan Zindabad.

Separately, an impressive flag-hoisting ceremony was held at Balochistan High Court where BHC Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai was the chief guest.