LAHORE - Powering through rain and hail-fall, Pakistani youngsters at National Hockey Stadium broke Bangladesh’s record of the largest human flag on Saturday.

Last year, 27,117 Bangladeshi students and servicemen broke Pakistan’s previous record set at Punjab Youth Festival 2012. On Saturday, 29,040 students brought back the record.

Earlier, downpour and hail-fall dimmed the event but the announcement of the record by Guinness World Record (GWR) brought cheers to the massive crowd in and outside the stadium.

Guinness adjudicator Leo and Maria Anataalia after counting through lines declared the Guinness World Record of largest human flag for Pakistan. Leo said: “There has been a skilful display of determination by these students, it was an amazing world record for Pakistan.”

The record-breakers said: “Prayers of our parents and nation were behind this achievement. We cannot express our feelings in words and are happy that we earned good name for the country while applauding the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and his entire team.”

Speaking on the occasion, MNA and chief of the provincial steering committee Mian Hamza Shahbaz Sharif said: “The nation is proud of Pakistani youngsters. Our children have rendered a commendable job, these children are the bright future of the motherland.”

He paid tributes to the patriotic spirits of students and congratulated the whole nation for setting the new world record.

Declaring the students as ‘lions of Punjab’, he said, “with the cooperation of youth, we will make the country, the Pakistan of the Quaid.”

Hamza added that Punjab government was taking serious steps to provide facilities to talented students and players.

“Punjab government has established endowment fund of Rs 10 billion for deserving students while the endowment fund of Rs 2 billion has been set up for those players who fail to display their abilities due to poverty.”

He said that as a result of steps taken by the Punjab government, the youth of Pakistan was ready to take the driving seat of Pakistan. “We are also planning to set up a sports university to promote talent of players in Punjab. I hope our youth will also make more world records during Punjab Youth Festival 2014 and the target of 40 new world records will be achieved,” he concluded.