City observes I-Day amid tumult of long marches

LAHORE: The city observed the Independence Day with traditional zeal and fervour amid the tumult of long marches arranged by the opposition parties on Thursday.
Formal celebrations started with a 21-gun salute at the Fortress Stadium while flag-hoisting ceremonies were held at Hazoori Bagh, Punjab Assembly, Lahore High Court (LHC), formation headquarters and units of the Lahore Garrison, Wapda House, public and private schools, colleges and universities. 
The main ceremony was held at Hazoori Bagh where Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif hoisted the national flag. 
Such a ceremony was also held at the Punjab Assembly where Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal hoisted the flag at the assembly building. Speaking on the occasion, Rana Iqbal said: “We will make all-out efforts to make the country prosperous and economically stable. We will rid the country of corruption, poverty, ignorance and terrorism.”
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) joined hands with the nation to celebrate the day with due fervour and dignity. A flag-hoisting ceremony was held at the Central Air Command (CAC) Headquarters where Air Vice Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, air officer commanding, CAC, hoisted the national flag and read out the chief of the air staff’s message. Similar ceremonies were also held at all PAF commands, bases and other establishments.
The Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) also held a ceremony at its headquarters with full zeal and enthusiasm. Addressing the ceremony, Rangers Director General Maj Gen Khan Tahir Khan said that Pakistan was facing several threats, including terrorism, and our brave soldiers were fighting bravely against terrorists.
The Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) celebrated the day by arranging a flag-hoisting ceremony followed by a gallery show by the Fine Arts Department and a seminar where Population Welfare Minister Begum Zakia Shahnawaz was the chief guest. LCWU Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Sabiha Mansoor was also present on the occasion. Begum Shahnawaz praised the institution and the way it was utilising its resources to achieve the goal of ensuring development and empowerment of women. VC Sabiha stressed the need of unity, faith, discipline besides ensuring empowerment of women for nation-building. She announced the establishment of Fatima Jinnah Chair with an aim to equip younger generations with maximum knowledge about history of Pakistan. 
Addressing the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Punjab University (PU), VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said that the day demands us to become knowledgeable and soldiers and that it demands us to display discipline in our everyday life like a soldier does. A large number of faculty members, employees and children were present on the occasion. 
PU Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) also organised a seminar titled ‘Azadi-e-Pakistan Aur Usska Tahafuz’ where Dr Muhammad Zahid Khan Lodhi was the keynote speaker. CSAS Director Prof Dr Umbreen Javaid was also present. Dr Lodhi highlighted various events that took place during the creation of Pakistan.
The Government College University (GCU) celebrated the day by offering prayers for peace and prosperity of the country and also by paying tribute to Armed Forces personnel who are taking part in the Zarb-e-Azb Operation in North Waziristan Agency.   
Addressing the grand flag-hoisting ceremony, VC Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleequr Rahman said that peace was inevitable for economic development. He laid stress on further strengthening educational institutions of the country. “It is uniform education system that ensures national harmony and social tolerance,” he added. 
Prof Khaleeq went on to say that Allama Iqbal’s philosophy and Quaid-i-Azam’s life served as beacons of light for Muslim youths, urging students to seek guidance from them. He also proudly recalled that an illustrious Ravian and a faculty – Allama Iqbal – gave the vision of Pakistan. “The glorious tradition nurtured by Allama Iqbal has been aptly upheld by successive generations of Ravians,” he added.  
The University of Engineering and Technology (UET) celebrated the day by holding a main event at Chemical Engineering Department’s Hall. Special prayers for prosperity of Pakistan were offered at varsity’s main mosque. VC Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Akram Khan was the chief guest at the flag-hoisting ceremony.
The University of Health Sciences (UHS) also celebrated the day with national zeal. VC Maj Gen (r) Prof Muhammad Aslam hoisted the national flag at a ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, the VC said that there was a need to revive the true spirit of Pakistan Movement that served as foundation stone of the country. 
The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) also arranged a flag-hoisting ceremony where VC Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha hoisted the national flag. A large number of faculty members, staff and students attended ceremony. The VC urged students and staff to work hard with honesty and dedication for the progress of the varsity and as well as of the country. Later, various sporting events were held and the VC gave away prizes to the winners in the end.
LHC Chief Justice Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmad accompanied by senior judges hoisted the national flag on the court building at a ceremony to celebrate the day.Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) President Shahfqat Mehmood Chohan accompanied by LHCBA officials and members also hoisted the national flag at the bar office.
The Independence Day was celebrated with national zeal and fervour at the Punjab University’s Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) on Thursday with colourful events, including a flag-hoisting ceremony followed by a rally.  Prayers were also offered for the sovereignty and progress of the country.
The daylong events started with a ceremony where ICS Director Dr Noshina Saleem hoisted the national flag. 
Later, a large number of students, teachers and faculty participated in the flag rally and sang national songs.
Addressing the rally, Dr Noshina said that freedom was a great blessing and that it was responsibility of every individual to safeguard this freedom and to play his or her role in the development of the nation.

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