ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways Saad Rafique on Thursday announced government’s plan for celebrating 68th Independence Day of Pakistan in a befitting manner.
Addressing a press conference here, the minister said that the government had decided to celebrate Independence Day across the country by holding a range of ceremonies. These celebrations will commence on August 01 with prayer leaders in mosques highlighting the struggle of our forefathers for an independent country and sacrifices rendered by martyrs for that purpose.
He said the celebrations would continue during the entire month of August and all Pakistanis should raise national flag on their homes and vehicles. “With the celebrations we will send a message of unity and solidarity to the internal and external enemies of Pakistan”, he said.
He said since independence the Pakistani nation faced several problems but despite all odds its people remained steadfast. He said all political leadership would be invited to the Independence Day celebrations.
“We want to make Pakistan a great nation. It is the responsibility of every Pakistani to work for making Pakistan a great stable and prosperous nation”, he added.
The minister said Pakistani nation was strong and its defence was impregnable. “Our professionals, engineers, scientists, doctors are rendering services in different parts of the world. We are a nuclear power. We have great soldiers who have rendered unprecedented sacrifices for the nation. Pakistan has a free and vibrant media which continues to bring facts to the nation”, he added.
He said people of Pakistan love democracy and the history of the country showed that they did not accept dictatorships, adding that four times the people of Pakistan uprooted dictators and elected democratic governments through votes.
He said Pakistan was facing the menace of terrorism for a long time and eradication of this evil was necessary to make Pakistan a strong and prosperous country.
He said on the night of 13 and 14 August parade and fly past would be held. The day will dawn with special prayers for the progress and prosperity of the country, he said, adding on the morning of August 14 traditional ceremony of Independence Day would be held.
The government will seek help of civil society, NGOs, bars, professional organizations and religious leaders for maximum participation in the Independence Day celebrations, he added.
He said that special programmes would be also held for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to express solidarity with them. He said the federal government had informed chief ministers, chief secretaries, Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan and Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) to issue special instructions to impressively celebrate Independence Day events and express solidarity with armed forces of Pakistan and especially IDPs.
He said that Pakistan Railways would run a special Independence Train for the whole month of August. The Azadi train will begin its journey from Peshawar on August 11 and after covering a distance of 4000 kilometers will reach Karachi on September 11, he said.
He said sports competitions including wrestling, cricket and kabbadi would be held at the district and tehsil level in connection with Independence Day celebrations.