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Society

Pakistan celebrates Independence Day amid surge of democratic hope

Pakistanis have extra reason to celebrate on this Independence Day with the 2nd peaceful transfer of power in the country's history.

Pakistan Forward

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Students attend a ceremony at the mausoleum of Pakistan's founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, to mark the country's Independence Day in Karachi August 14. [Rizwan Tabassum/AFP]

    Students attend a ceremony at the mausoleum of Pakistan's founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, to mark the country's Independence Day in Karachi August 14. [Rizwan Tabassum/AFP]

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Pakistani Wing Commander Bilal (third from left) presents sweets to Indian Border Security Force Commandant Sudeep (right) during a ceremony to celebrate Pakistan's Independence Day at the India-Pakistan Wagah border post August 14. [Narinder Nanu/AFP]

    Pakistani Wing Commander Bilal (third from left) presents sweets to Indian Border Security Force Commandant Sudeep (right) during a ceremony to celebrate Pakistan's Independence Day at the India-Pakistan Wagah border post August 14. [Narinder Nanu/AFP]

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Mikail Ali, 3, of Peshawar is set to mark the special day. [Danish Yousafzai]

    Mikail Ali, 3, of Peshawar is set to mark the special day. [Danish Yousafzai]

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Two residents of Peshawar purchase different costumes to celebrate Independence Day August 14. [Danish Yousafzai]

    Two residents of Peshawar purchase different costumes to celebrate Independence Day August 14. [Danish Yousafzai]

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Pakistanis dance as they celebrate Independence Day in Karachi August 14. [Asif Hassan/AFP]

    Pakistanis dance as they celebrate Independence Day in Karachi August 14. [Asif Hassan/AFP]

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa legislators August 13 in Peshawar take their oath of office after the July 25 general election. [Abdul Majeed/AFP]

    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa legislators August 13 in Peshawar take their oath of office after the July 25 general election. [Abdul Majeed/AFP]

  • 
Students attend a ceremony at the mausoleum of Pakistan's founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, to mark the country's Independence Day in Karachi August 14. [Rizwan Tabassum/AFP]

    Students attend a ceremony at the mausoleum of Pakistan's founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, to mark the country's Independence Day in Karachi August 14. [Rizwan Tabassum/AFP]

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Fireworks are seen over Karachi as part of Independence Day celebrations August 14. [Asif Hassan/AFP]

    Fireworks are seen over Karachi as part of Independence Day celebrations August 14. [Asif Hassan/AFP]

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistanis celebrated their country's 72nd Independence Day Tuesday (August 14) with traditional zeal and reverence.

The day-long festivities began with a 31-gun salute in the capital, followed by 21-gun salutes in all four provincial capitals, Dawn reported, as well as hoisting of the national flag at all major public buildings in the country.

The main ceremony occurred at the Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad, where President Mamnoon Hussain in his address said, "It is a reminder that the way this country came into being with the people's will, in the same manner, the decisions regarding its fate will be made through the vote".

Pakistanis have even more reason to celebrate on this Independence Day with the second peaceful transfer of power in the country's history following July 25 elections.

Numerous Pakistani politicians commemorated the holiday with messages of hope on Twitter.

"On this Independence Day I am filled with the greatest optimism... I know if we are united in our resolve, we will rise to the challenge," said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, Pakistan's soon-to-be prime minister.

"I share the joy of every Pakistani today in celebrating our independence. It is still a long & difficult road ahead to prosperity, peace & equality but for right now let us come together to celebrate Pakistan," said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

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