Pakistan celebrates its 61st Independence Day

August 14th, 2008 - 2:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad, Aug.14 (ANI): Pakistans 61st Independence Day is being celebrated across the country with great fervor and zest on Thursday.
Special prayers were offered for the development of the country. The central ceremony was held at Jinnah Convention Center in Islamabad where Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani hoisted the flag.
Also present in the occasion were Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Senate Chairman Mian Muhammad Soomro, federal ministers, Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza, members of National Assembly, diplomats and other top officials.
The sirens were rung at 8:58 a.m. this morning while students sang the national anthem.
Meanwhile, a flag hoisting ceremony was held at Quaid-e-Azam Mohamad Ali Jinnahs mausoleum in Karachi. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah hoisted the flag. Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad, members of provincial cabinet and assembly attended the flag hoisting ceremony.
After the flag hoisting ceremony, Chief Minister, Governor on this occasion laid floral wreaths at the mausoleum and offered Fateha.
In Lahore, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif attended the flag hoisting ceremony held at Hazoori Bag near Shahi Qila. Lahore Nazim Mian Amir Mahmood was also present on this occasion.
Chief Minster Amir Haider Hoti attended the flag hoisting ceremony at Police Line in Peshawar while in Quetta Chief Minister Haji Aslam Khan Raisani hoisted the flag.
Pakistan leaders speak of political stability and reconciliation.
President Musharraf did not attend the ceremony in Islamabad but made a televised address shortly after midnight.
The embattled President called for political stability and reconciliation to tackle economic and security problems but made no reference to a plan to impeach him drawn up by a coalition government led by the party of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
In his first public comments since the coalition announced its impeachment plan last week, the former army chief and firm U.S ally also did not refer to the calls for him to step down
Hours after Musharraf spoke, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said in his Independence Day address his government believed in reconciliation between political parties.
Gilani, who heads a coalition of parties opposed to Musharraf, formed after a February general election, did not refer to Musharraf or respond directly to his appeal.
Gilani also spoke about the campaign against militancy, saying the problem had to be faced.
Several events are being held across the country to celebrate the occasion. (ANI)

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