At midnight on August 14, 1947, Pakistan became a self-ruling nation, becoming independent from India and Great Britain. The historic event is celebrated on this day through religious ceremonies, parades and official government functions. In Islamabad, traditional commemorations begin at dawn with the flag raised over the President’s house as well as Parliament.
The name Pakistan is said to derive from the Urdu word Paak meaning “pure” and stan meaning “land” or “place”. With so many diverse cultures in one nation, everyone marks Pakistan Independence in their own special way.
Today many Pakistanis visit national monuments, such as the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Mazar e Quaid in Karachi. Others mark the national holiday with a visit to family for a special meal and an exchange of blessings.
Green and white will be seen everywhere in Pakistan today: on the flags that fly over homes and official buildings, on strings of twinkling lights, and on faces painted to celebrate Pakistan’s National Day. The colors represent peace and prosperity, but to most celebrants they signify Pakistani pride.