Pakistan, as an independent nation came into existence on August 14, 1947 under the stewardship of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who played an instrumental role in carving out Pakistan from India. The celebration commenced with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital, which was followed by a 21-gun salute in all provincial capitals.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raised the national flag at a function, which was attended by a number of people. Besides, the national anthem was also played by the school children. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the celebrations in the position of special guest at the Convention Center amidst the present of senior military and civilian leaders, ministers, lawmakers, diplomats and dignitaries.

Speaking at the occasion, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari appealed for peace to the militants and extremists, who have created fear in the minds of people. Zardari also laid stress upon the fact that power of ballot can’t be replaced with bullet.

"Let us also reject those, who exploit and misuse the name of religion for advancing their personal and partisan political agendas," the President said.

Zardari also asked the people to stand firm and united for safeguarding and strengthening democracy and to work collectively for a progressive, tolerant, moderate and pluralistic Pakistan, a vision, which was formulated by the founding fathers of the nation and its great leaders.

PM Nawaz Sharif put stress upon the fact that the government is fully committed to ending extremism and terrorism from its root and ensure peace and prosperity.

"The Independence Day demands from us that we should plan our future strategy in the light of our past experiences. If we fail to correct our mistakes today, do not choose the right path, and continue to serve our personal interests instead of the national objectives, the future generations will never pardon us," Nawaz Sharif noted.

JPN

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