Rawalpindi-Residents of the city celebrated the Independence Day with traditional zeal and fervour on Wednesday while expressing solidarity with people of Kashmir facing atrocities of Indian Army.

In this connection, different events were held in educational institutions, government, semi-government and private departments across the city to celebrate the Independence Day. Flag-hoisting and cake-cutting ceremonies and rallies for expressing solidarity with Kashmiris were held.

The main flag-hoisting ceremony was held at auditorium of Government Viqar-un-Nisa College.

Commissioner Rawalpindi Saqib Zafar, RPO Ehsan Tufail, Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Ali Randhawa, Additional Commissioner Tariq Salam Marwat, CPO Faisal Rana and members of Punjab Assembly also attended the ceremony as the special guests.

It was attended by senior civilian and police officers, notables and the people belonging to various walks of life. The auditorium of the college was occupied to its full capacity.

A contingent of Punjab Police presented guard of honour. Special prayers for prosperity, development and progress of Pakistan were offered. Schoolchildren wearing white and green dresses sang national songs.

Speaking on the occasion, Rawalpindi Commissioner Saqib Zafar said that this year Independence Day and Kashmir solidarity day was celebrated on the same day to condemn the Indian brutalities in IOK. He said that the Independence Day celebrations also reminded us to renew our resolve to make efforts for development and progress of the country and show readiness to make every sacrifice for the defence of the country.

He said that the determination and zeal of the Pakistan Movement was needed for speedy progress of the country, adding that we should also act upon the golden principles of the father of the nation: unity, faith and discipline.

Deputy Commissioner Ali Randhawa said that the time had come to tell the world that all the segments of the society was united in the country for the Kashmir cause and we would not hesitate to sacrifice for the rights of Kashmiris.

He said that we got independence very difficult but it was the duty of the youngsters to work hard for the progress and development of the country. He said that the government was committed to provide better facilities to the people.

The students presented tableaus and national songs on the occasion and special documentary were screened on Pakistan Movement.

Later, Commissioner Saqib Zafar, Deputy Commissioner Ali Randhawa, RPO Rawalpindi Ehsan Tufail, CPO Faisal Rana also participated in the flag hoisting ceremony at Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI).

MNA Rashid Shafique was the chief guest on the occasion and it was attended by a large number of people. The participants also brought out rally to express solidarity with Kashmiris. Cake was also cut to celebrate Independence Day. Chairman Pakistan Green Task Force Dr Jamal Nasir also organised a ceremony in connection with Pakistan Independence Day. He also expressed solidarity with Kashmiris saying “Pakistan will not leave people of Kashmir alone and they would be freed from clutches of Indians,”

In Lahore High Court, a ceremony was also held to celebrate Independence Day. Senior Judge Justice Muhamamd Tariq Abbasi accompanied by Justice Mirza Waqas Rauf and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz hoisting the flaq.

Speaking at the ceremony, Senior Judge Justice Tariq Abbasi paid a rich tribute to those who rendered countless sacrifices for freeing Pakistan.

The speakers also expressed solidarity with Kashmiris and said that their sacrifices would not waste and they would get the right of freedom soon.

Special prayers were offered for peace and prosperity. The administration distributed sweets among the staff and personnel of law enforcement agencies.

Rallies, seminars, flag-hoisting and cake cutting ceremonies were hosted in Rawalpindi as part of the celebrations for the 72nd Independence Day as well.

The residents of the city took to the main roads and public parks. Many children and youth had the national flag and Kashmir flag painted on their faces. Cars, motorcycles, bicycles, houses, buildings and markets were decorated with the national flag, bunting and fairy lights. People wore green and white clothes and danced on Murree Road to various national songs playing on portable sound systems.

Business activities were suspended in most areas. Elected public representatives displayed large hoardings and banners along Murree Road featuring pictures of the Quaid-i-Azam, Fatima Jinnah, Allama Iqbal and other prominent figures and wished their supporters a happy Independence Day.

A big rally of PTI workers also depart from Rawalpindi for D-chowk. The rally was lead by Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, Fayazul Hassan Chohan, Rashid Hafeez and other senior leaders of the Rawalpindi chapter.