Pakistan Celebrates Independence Day amidst political protests & fears of coup

ISLAMABAD (TIP): Dark clouds of political unrest hung over the solemn celebrations of Independence of Pakistan on Thursday, August 14. President Mamnoon Hussain said the country was in a state of war and terrorism was being spread in the country under a conspiracy.

There were rumors afloat that Pakistan might witness a coup on the independence day. However, nothing has gone amiss except that both Imran Khan and Qadri have determinedly voiced their opposition to Nawaz Sharif government which they want to be out. Khan and Qadri will hold the march today, which is Pakistan’s independence day, to demand Sharif’s resignation and seek fresh elections. Both Khan and Qadri, who led mass demonstrations in Islamabad early last year to urge electoral reform, allege that the May 2013 general election, which brought Sharif to power, was rigged.

In his special message to the nation in a ceremony held at the President House, President Mamnoon Hussain emphasised the importance of harmony in order to resolve the political turmoil prevailing in the country. Mamnoon said the army was fighting for the stability and security of the country and its efforts were commendable, adding that the nation should provide support to the army in this hour of need. The president also referred to those displaced due to the military operation in North Waziristan and said the government was working to root out terrorism from the country.

On the occasion of Independence Day, the president recalled the great sacrifices rendered by martyrs. The president hoisted the national flag at the ceremony. He was flanked by Prime Minister Nawaz and army chief Raheel Sharif. Earlier, at the Independence Day ceremony in the Parliament House, the prime minister congratulated the nation and said no harm should befall the continuation of democracy in the country.

The premier also paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the independence movement. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited Allama Iqbal’s tomb and hoisted the national flag. Sharif paid his respects to the martyrs of the independence movement and said the nation was still economically dependent. The Punjab chief minister said we had buried Allama Iqbal but had failed to carry his legacy forward.

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