Caretaker Provincial Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Dr Jamal Nasir on Monday said that Independence Day was the day of renewal of the pledge to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state. Addressing a flag-hoisting ceremony held at the Punjab Arts Council in connection with the 76th Independence Day of Pakistan, he said that the establishment of Pakistan was a blessing for the Muslims of the subcontinent. The minister said that the forefathers sacrificed their lives for an independent state, adding there was a need to make the young generation aware of the freedom movement. He also congratulated the children who participated in the competitions. Speaking on the occasion, Director of Arts Council Waqar Ahmad said that Pakistan was one of the blessings of Allah. “Our forefathers made numerous sacrifices for Pakistan and Allama Iqbal’s dream was made a reality by Quaid-e-Azam.” Waqar paid tributes to the martyrs of the Pakistan movement and said “Pakistan was achieved after sacrificing the lives of millions of people. Assistant Director Muhammad Suleman said that the Muslims of the subcontinent made it possible to achieve a separate homeland under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, who gave us an ideology and made us a nation. “We should not spare any sacrifice to make the country strong, progressive and prosperous.” At the end of the ceremony, a special prayer was offered for the protection and development of Pakistan. Speech, Tableau and National songs competitions were also held to mark Pakistan Independence Day in collaboration with the All Pakistan Private schools management association. Ayesha, Ayesha Daniyal, Muhammad Ali and Abrasha got first, second, third and fourth positions in the national song competition. Noor Sehar, Aishal, Roshana Malik and Arfa Malik were awarded the first, second, third and fourth prizes in the speech contest. In the tableau competition, Iqra School came first, City Lyceum second, New Education School third and ASA School fourth. The chief guest and the director of the Arts Council distributed shields and appreciation certificates among the position holders. A large number of students from the twin cities participated in the competitions.