Pakistan celebrates 61st Independence Day

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Islamabad, Aug 14: Pakistan's 61st Independence Day is being celebrated across the country with great fervor and zest on Thursday, Aug 14. 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 am on Thursday, Aug 14 morning while students sang the national anthem.

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 US 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.

Meanwhile, one young man was killed while 33 other including five women hurt in aerial firing on occasion of country's Independence Day. The News quoted police sources as saying that the aerial firing was done to celebrate Pakistan's Independence Day during midnight in which a young man died in Layari.

There were reports of 33 injuries in various parts of metropolis. Injured have been shifted to different nearby hospitals.


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