Women take selfie during their visit to the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah to celebrate the Independence Day in Karachi on Wednesday. AFP
President Dr Arif Alvi said that Pakistan would continue to stand with Kashmiris as it has always done, as Pakistan observed the 73rd Independence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day on Wednesday to express solidarity with Kashmiris and highlight their plight.
Children waves Pakistani national flags from a car as they take part in Independence Day celebrations in Islamabad. AFP
While addressing the grand flag hoisting ceremony at the convention centre in Islamabad, Alvi, who was the guest of honour, said that today the world was watching how the people of Pakistan were standing with their Kashmiri brothers.
"We will not leave them alone at any step," the president said adding: "Kashmiris are our [people]. We think of their pain as our pain. We have remained with them; we are with them today and will continue to do so."
Students wave Pakistani and Kashmiri flags at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. AP
Various political leaders including National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan were in attendance.
Mashaal Malik, wife of Kashmiri leader Mohammad Yasin Malik incarcerated by India, also addressed the event during which she shared a poem she wrote about the freedom struggle of people under Indian occupation in Kashmir.
A family takes part in Independence Day celebrations in Islamabad. AFP
Flag hoisting ceremonies were also held in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.
The day dawned with the usual official functions and ceremonies — a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salutes in the provincial capitals, as well as a major event in Islamabad which top government functionaries and armed forces' officials attended.
People take part in Independence Day celebrations in Islamabad. AFP
A change of guards ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. A smartly turned out contingent of the cadets of the Pakistan Naval Academy assumed the guards' duties.
The provincial and district governments, as well as educational institutions and art councils, organised a series of events in connection with Independence Day. Federal and provincial governments illuminated important national buildings and monuments.
Children hold Pakistan-administered Kashmir flags as they take part on Independence Day celebrations in Islamabad. AFP
The government unveiled a special logo "Kashmir banega Pakistan (Kashmir will become part of Pakistan)" lettered in red to go along with the theme of Kashmir Solidarity Day.
In a post shared on Twitter, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal said: "We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Kashmiri brothers & sisters in their struggle to exercise their right to self-determination."
The nation observed the Independence Day with with zeal and enthusiasm to express full support to Kashmiris reeling from renewed Indian repression. Special programs are being aired to highlight the significance of independence and struggle of our forefathers for creating a separate homeland for Muslims in subcontinent.
Imran's comments come a day after Pakistan accused India of using illegal cluster bombs, killing two civilians and wounding 11, in the disputed Kashmir region. India denied it had used such weapons.
His reaction came after the Indian government earlier in the day decided to revoke Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one.
The service, known as the "friendship bus," has long been seen as a symbolic link between the two countries. Launched in 1999, it has run almost continuously since, including throughout the last crisis between the two countries in February.
"All kinds of Indian content have been stopped and Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) has been directed to step up its vigilance in this regard along with actions against the sale of Indian DTH instruments," Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Thursday.
Kurdish police spokesman Ali Al Hassan said the car bomb was detonated by "remote control" near a school, "killing a member of our (police) forces".
Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the financial hub into crisis with images of masked black-clad protesters engulfed by tear gas during street battles with riot police stunning a city once renowned for its stability.
The ministry said another Palestinian was hospitalised in the shooting that came after the Israeli army said an attack helicopter and tank had fired at "armed suspects" along the barrier that separates Israel from Gaza.