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Independence Day of Pakistan throughout the years

As the month of August commences, the nation is adorned with a multitude of flags and banners, creating a visual display in anticipation of the forthcoming Day of Independence. However, the exuberant commemorations of this momentous day have experienced a continuous transformation since the establishment of Pakistan.

Birth and start: 1947

The recognition of Pakistan’s independence as a new Dominion was officially conveyed by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the viceroy of the Indian Subcontinent, who read out the King’s telegram, so signifying the significant event in the emergence of Pakistan. The Pakistan flag was raised with a sense of pride on various government buildings, serving as a representation of the recently acquired religious, political, and economic freedoms inside the envisioned Pakistan of Jinnah. Individuals engaged in the reciprocal distribution of confectionery, and the festivities persisted with great vigour into the late hours of the evening.

The year 1948.

As the first anniversary of Pakistan neared, the residents of the nation were filled with eager expectation for a broadcast by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and a grand assembly presided over by Liaquat Ali Khan, the country’s first Prime Minister. Considering the significant role that religious tensions had in the formation of Pakistan, it is comprehensible why there was a notable emphasis on prayers as the foundation of this momentous day. Individuals from many communities gathered in their own places of worship, such as mosques, temples, or churches, coming together in prayer and expressing appreciation for a year marked by notable advancements.

The search for stability (1951–1953)

The prevailing sense of buoyant enthusiasm persisted for the following two years until the nation was abruptly engulfed in a profound state of sadness. The occurrence of a tragic incident took place on October 16, 1951, when Liaquat Ali Khan was fatally shot by an assassin. Following the occurrence of this tragic event, prominent individuals such as Fatima Jinnah, alongside many other esteemed personalities, committed themselves to the pursuit of Kashmir’s emancipation. As a result, the subsequent Days of Independence were characterised by a sombre atmosphere, lacking the customary celebrations, as the collective awareness was keenly focused on the misery of the Kashmiri population.

During this particular time frame, the exuberant nature of festivities was eclipsed by the prevalent state of political turmoil that permeated the entire nation. Commemorations in Karachi, the capital city of Pakistan during that period, were reduced in scale. The main components of the event consisted of an Armed Forces Ceremonial March conducted in the early hours of the day, succeeded by an inauguration ceremony near the birthplace of Quaid-i-Azam, and concluding with a public gathering at Jehangir Park.

1957

A resurgence of patriotic sentiments occurred towards the culmination of a decade dedicated to achieving freedom. The day was officially designated as a national public holiday, prompting widespread participation in mass gatherings and marches across the entire nation. The day in Karachi commenced with the discharge of 31 artillery guns.

The time period from 1958 to 1961.

During this time period, Pakistan underwent a phase of economic success commonly known as its golden era. Under the leadership of General Ayub Khan, the military regime prioritised the strengthening of Pakistan’s economic infrastructure in accordance with the vision set forth by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Fatima Jinnah emphasised the crucial need of embodying and maintaining the fundamental ideas and aspirations that were the basis of Pakistan’s establishment.

Amidst the emerging global happenings in Kashmir, Algeria, and Palestine, the anniversary of Independence resonated with a discernible feeling of expectancy regarding future prospects.

The period of turbulence and transformation that occurred between 1969 and 1971.

The prompt resignation of Ayub Khan promptly resulted in the implementation of a subsequent martial law under the leadership of Yahya Khan. During the subsequent years, particularly in 1971, he appealed to the population to unite in safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty and integrity from both internal subversion and external assault.

Resilience and revitalization (1971 – 1975)

On August 14, 1973, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto assumed the position of the ninth Prime Minister of Pakistan through an official swearing-in ceremony. Under his leadership, the celebrations of Independence Day were characterised by a strong sense of patriotism, which originated from a renewed commitment to safeguarding democracy and promoting peaceful relations with Pakistan’s neighbouring countries, while also ensuring the preservation of its territorial boundaries.

Institutionalising the commemoration of Independence Day (1977–1988)

During the martial rule of Ziaul Haq, the government made a notable effort to foster national cohesion. On August 15, 1981, a governmental directive was issued to temporarily suspend all vehicular movement at 9 am, allowing individuals to disembark from their automobiles and engage in the collective rendition of the national anthem. Numerous automobiles, buses, and lorries were submerged in an abundance of patriotic embellishments. He issued a directive for the national flag to be displayed on all residential and business structures. Since that particular day, the act of waving the flag, which is considered the ultimate symbol of Pakistani patriotism, seemed to have emerged as the prevailing and widely embraced expression of celebration for Independence Day.

Retrospective ten years (2020–Present):

The retrospective journey leads us to the contemporary executions and arrangements of the events observed on the 14th of August. Every year, the arrival of August is accompanied by the adornment of local stores with miniature flags and green lights. Additionally, some brands commence the month by incorporating patriotic banners into their internet and physical marketing efforts. The Pakistani fashion industry has witnessed a remarkable trend known as the “Azaadi Sale” and “Azaadi Line,” which has gained significant popularity. This trend involves the sale of clothing items predominantly in colours of green and white, frequently at reduced costs. These garments are specifically designed to commemorate the celebration of independence and are subsequently utilised for celebratory purposes.

With the aim of cultivating a sense of national cohesion, instilling discipline, and reinforcing the importance of expressing appreciation and admiration for the sacrifices made by our ancestors, we shall persist in commemorating the 14th of August with maximum fervour and devotion to our country.

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