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Pakistan Celebrates 76 Years of Independence with Calls for Unity

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As Pakistan commemorates its 76th year of independence, the nation is embracing patriotic fervor through a series of ceremonies held across cities. The day commenced with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad, followed by a 21-gun salute in provincial headquarters. Change of guard ceremonies took place at the Mazar-i-Quaid in Karachi and the Mazar-i-Iqbal in Lahore, marking symbolic gestures of remembrance.

President Dr. Arif Alvi led a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Convention Center in Islamabad, joined by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and former National Assembly speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. In his address, President Alvi invoked the message of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, stressing unity, faith, and discipline. He expressed optimism that Pakistan has the potential to become a developed nation in the near future. The president urged political leaders to embrace forgiveness and core Islamic values, emphasizing unity as a necessity.

President Alvi underscored the importance of eradicating nepotism, promoting meritocracy, and ensuring comprehensive justice for socio-economic progress. He lamented the staggering number of out-of-school children and called on the affluent class to contribute to education. The president also highlighted the need for greater women’s participation in economic activities.

While commemorating the sacrifices of Pakistan’s forefathers, President Alvi recognized figures such as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Iqbal, and the Quaid. He reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to combat terrorism and emphasized the Kashmir issue’s resolution in line with UN Security Council resolutions.

Former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif echoed the sentiment that Pakistan’s journey is ongoing. He paid tribute to the resilience and determination displayed throughout the nation’s history. Shehbaz urged unity and solid action to take Pakistan forward, referencing Quaid’s motto of ‘work, work, and only work’ as the guiding principle.

The military leadership, represented by Inter-Services Public Relations, called on the nation to uphold peace, harmony, and unity. They affirmed their commitment to defend territorial integrity and maintain peace with the support of the people.

Former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari highlighted the aspiration for a prosperous Pakistan, emphasizing open avenues for all regardless of circumstances. He pledged to pursue an ideology of inclusivity and unity, echoing his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s belief that Pakistan belongs to all.

Amidst the celebrations, the significance of unity, dedication, and the pursuit of a brighter future resonates as Pakistan honors its past, present, and ideals of a united nation.

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