Pakistan’s independence day (also known as Yom-e-Istiqlal (Urdu: یوم استقلال )) is celebrated on 14 August, the day before Pakistan was built an independent country based on border lines created by the British during the end of their rule of India. Pakistan became an independent country in 1947. The day is a national holiday in Pakistan. The day is celebrated all over the country with flag-raising ceremonies, tributes to the national heroes and fireworks taking place in the capital, Islamabad.
The main celebrations takes place in Islamabad, where the President and Prime Minister raise the national flag at the Presidential and Parliament buildings and deliver speeches that are televised live. In the speech, the leaders highlight the achievements of the government, goals set for the future and in the words of the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam, bring “Unity, Faith and Discipline” to its people.
Independence of Pakistan was officially announced on Friday, August 14, 1947 at 12:00 a.m. but the ceremony itself took place half an hour early on the actual day. This day is celebrated 1 day earlier in comparison to India even though independence was granted by the British Raj to both countries at midnight on 15 August 1947.
14 August is a National holiday of Pakistan. In the capital Islamabad and in all major cities of Pakistan the Government Offices are lit up as well as all the larger skyscrapers. Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs take place in all the provincial capitals. In the cities around the country, the Flag Hoisting Ceremony is done by the Nazim (Mayor) belonging to that constituency.
In various private organizations, the Flag Hoisting Ceremony is carried out by a senior officer of that organization. Schools and colleges around the country organize flag hoisting ceremonies and various cultural activities within their respective premises. Families and friends get together for lunch or dinner, or for an outing. Housing colonies, cultural centers, and societies hold entertainment programs and competitions.
Other events include: Changing of the guard at the mausoleum of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mazar-e-Quaid, Wagah Borderjh ceremonies, fashion, and musical concerts, both sides releasing prisoners that may have crossed each other’s borders.