World Bulletin/News Desk
Pakistanis celebrated on Wednesday the 66 anniversary of their country's independence, with thousands of enthusiastic youths joining marches nationwide and carrying the green and white national flag.
Thousands of citizens carrying national flags and singing the national anthem also thronged the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, in southern port city of Karachi.
Pakistan’s two major religious minorities, Christians and Hindus, who make up 3 and 2 percent of Pakistan's 180 million population respectively, held Independence Day rallies in different parts of the country, mainly in the Punjab and Sindh provinces.
The main flag hoisting ceremony was held in the capital Islamabad and was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, currently on a two-day visit to Pakistan.
The UN chief congratulated Pakistanis on the occasion and expressed hope that they would succeed in defeating terrorists.
He reiterated the UN's commitment to support Pakistan in its war against terrorism.
In his address to the nation, Sharif vowed to bring an end to violence with the help of the nation and the security forces.
He asked the people to stand behind his government and security forces during these trying times.
Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kyani addressed an Independence Day parade at the premier Kakul academy in the garrison city of Abbotabad and pledged to continue to combat violence.
"We may have two views on the strategy against terrorism, but let me make it clear that surrendering to terrorism is no solution," he said, referring to the government’s indication to hold peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.
Although the Pakistan Muslim League (PML)-led government has announced a desire to resolve the decade-long specter of terrorism through talks, it has left the final decision in this regard to a proposed all-parties conference expected to be held by the end of this month.Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ağustos 2013, 22:43