KARACHI: The 69th national independence day marked its beginning with 21 gun salute Friday morning followed by change of guards by smartly attired cadets of Pakistan Naval Academy at the mausoleum of Quaid e Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The main event of the day was also held on the premises of Father of Nation’s mausoleum where national flag was hoisted by Governor of Sindh, Dr. Ishrat ul Ebad Khan alongwith the Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and members of the provincial cabinet.
Flag hoisting ceremony was also attended by representatives of the three armed forces, civil services, consul generals,notable citizens and students from different schools of the metropolis.
Governor of Sindh and Chief Minister alongwith other dignitaries also laid floral wreath on the grave of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah besides offering fateha for his soul and those of his colleagues.
Entry to the ceremony remained restricted due to security alert in the metropolis, however, as the ceremony concluded and VIPs departed from the site the Mazar was opened to the public.
People in large number thronged the site to express their gratitude for the Quaid and his comrades.
PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also visited the Mazar e Quaid and offered fateha. This led to another closure of the site for the masses but for a while.
Karachiites in high spirit without losing their patience waited for the departure of another VIP, before offering fateha and visiting the museum within the mausoleum premises.
It was after quite some time that people were witnessed in high spirit commemorating the occasion in a befitting manner, joy written large on their faces.
Karachi since morning also saw series of rallies taken out by different organizations but without causing any chaos or disregard for traffic rules.
This was definitely a pleasant change for many of the citizens reluctant to move out of their homes out of fear being stuck in traffic jams.
Boat race organized by Pakistan Coast Guards in Kemari was another source of delight for the citizens as on the occasion they were also offered free of charge boat trips, The opportunity was largely availed by women and children.
Holding the national flags and attired in white and green clothes they emerged to be a pleasant surprise in themselves for many others, mainly foreigners.
Different government offices, educational institutions and NGOs had also arranged flag hoisting ceremonies besides special programs to mark the event.