President Dr Arif Alvi and outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have called for national unity and paying tribute to the hardships that earned Pakistan its freedom as the nation celebrates 76 years of independence. The day began with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and a 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals. The national flag was hoisted in Islamabad, where President Dr Arif Alvi was the chief guest. Similar flag hoisting ceremonies took place at provincial, divisional, and district headquarters throughout the country. President Alvi urged the nation to uphold the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance, and moral and ethical values as enunciated by Islam. He also emphasized the importance of remembering the oppressed people of Kashmir and supporting their right to self-determination. Outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the spirit of unity and self-belief that marked the independence movement and pledged solidarity with the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari highlighted the need to establish a strong federal democratic state based on tolerance and equality. The Military leadership also extended congratulations and emphasized the importance of preserving peace, harmony, and unity. Chief Of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir urged the public to reject conspirators sowing hopelessness and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to a bright future.

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