Pakistanis patriotic, optimistic on Independence Day despite terrorism

Patriotic zeal was in full-force on Sunday throughout Pakistan as the country marked its 69th anniversary of independence.

The massive celebration comes despite lingering concerns about terrorism.

The day began with a 31-gun salute in the national capital Islamabad, as well as a 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals.

The passion was witnessed and events were held across country amid continued concerns throughout the country about terrorism.

Prayers for peace, progress and security of the country are made and feelings of gratefulness are expressed. Meanwhile, all major public and private buildings, roads and avenues have been tastefully decorated with illuminations, national flags, and portraits of the national leaders, banners and buntings giving a festive look.

Sky roared with fireworks as clock 12:00 am to begin celebrations of Independence Day of Pakistan on 14th August. Fireworks celebrations were held across Pakistan in all the cities and buildings were illuminated. People took to streets with national flags on their bikes and other vehicles. Gathering of the sea of people could be witnessed at landmark places.

The main ceremony of Independence Day was held at the Convention Centre in Islamabad where President Mamnoon Hussain along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hoisted the national flag.

In Islamabad, a cultural show/ musical evening titled ‘Shukriya Pakistan’ was arranged by Pakistan National Council of the Arts at its Auditorium to celebrate the independence day of Pakistan. The program was devised to educate youth about the significance of independence, the struggle, and sacrifices of our elders for an independent homeland Pakistan.

In Lahore, a Change of Guard ceremony was held at Mazar-e-Iqbal earlier in the morning.

Pakistani children sing national anthem during a ceremony to mark Pakistan's Independence Day in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on Aug. 14, 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Umar Qayyum

Pakistani children sing national anthem during a ceremony to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day in northwest Pakistan’s Peshawar on Aug. 14, 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Umar Qayyum

President Mamnoon Hussain and PM Nawaz Sharif in a group photo with the children to mark 69th Independence Day of Pakistan at Convention Center, Islamabad on August 14, 2016. Photo: PID

President Mamnoon Hussain and PM Nawaz Sharif in a group photo with the children to mark 69th Independence Day of Pakistan at Convention Center, Islamabad on August 14, 2016. Photo: PID

Students of Saint Marry school in Hyderabad carry out pre- Independence Day celebrations. Photo: APP

Students of Saint Marry school in Hyderabad carry out pre- Independence Day celebrations. Photo: APP

Pakistani people attend a ceremony celebrating Pakistan's Independence Day near Pakistan-India border (Wagah) in Lahore on Aug. 14, 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Jamil Ahmed

Pakistani people attend a ceremony celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day near Pakistan-India border (Wagah) in Lahore on Aug. 14, 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Jamil Ahmed

A vendor sells national flags of all shapes and sizes in Islamabad. Photo: APP

A vendor sells national flags of all shapes and sizes in Islamabad. Photo: APP

Along with Pakistan flags, some vendors are also selling Chinese flags to express solidarity and friendship with China. Photo: Islamabad Scene

Along with Pakistan flags, some vendors are also selling Chinese flags to express solidarity and friendship with China. Photo: Islamabad Scene

Supporters of civil rights group for transgender people, the Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA), dance and chant slogans as they pose with a national flag ahead of the Independence Day. Photo: Reuters

Supporters of civil rights group for transgender people, the Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA), dance and chant slogans as they pose with a national flag ahead of the Independence Day. Photo: Reuters

A flag seller poses with the victory sign as flags flutter around him. Photo: Zoral Naik

A flag seller poses with the victory sign as flags flutter around him. Photo: Zoral Naik