The Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated on Wednesday with national zeal and fervor as Kashmir Solidarity Day to express full support to Kashmiri brethren reeling from renewed Indian repression.The day dawned with special prayers in the mosques after Fajr prayers for peace, progress, and prosperity of the country and liberation of the occupied territories of the Muslims. Thirty-one gun salute was offered in the federal capital Islamabad, while 21-gun salute in all the four provincial headquarters, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad.The main flag-hoisting ceremony was held in Convention Centre. Addressing the ceremony, President Dr Arif Alvi emphatically renewed Pakistan’s unflinching support to Kashmiri people until they get right to self-determination. He said, “We will not leave them alone at any stage. Kashmiris and Pakistanis are one. Our grief is common as their tears move our hearts. We were with them; we are standing with them and will continue to do so.”Flag-hoisting ceremonies were also held in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. In Karachi, the change of guards ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the morning. A smartly turned out contingent of the cadets of Pakistan Naval Academy assumed the guards duties. Commodore Irfan Taj of Pakistan Navy was the chief guest of ceremony.He inspected the guard of honour and presented national salute to the father of the nation. The chief guest also laid a floral wreath at the mausoleum, offered Fateha and recorded his impressions in the visitors’ book.Meanwhile, an impressive ceremony of change of guards was held at the tomb of the poet of the east Allama Muhammad Iqbal in Lahore in connection with the Independence Day. During the ceremony, a smartly turned out contingent of the Pakistan Army assumed the charge of the guards’ duty from the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab).General Officer Commander Major General Yousaf was the chief guest on the occasion. Later, he laid a floral wreath on the grave of Allama Iqbal and offered Fateha.In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the main function in connection with Independence Day was held at the Governor’s House, Peshawar.Governor Shah Farman hoisted the national flag. Collective prayers were also offered for the development and prosperity of the country and liberation of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK).A similar function was also held at the Civil Secretariat Peshawar where KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai hoisted the national flag.National flag hoisting ceremonies were also held at Pakistan Railways, Divisional Superintendent office, and Rescue 1122 office, Peshawar.Functions of similar nature were also held at Sra Rogha tehsil of tribal district South Waziristan, district Orakzai and Mohmand.A rally was also taken out in Parachinar, Kurram to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people. In Gilgit, the main function of Independence Day and Kashmir Solidarity Day was held in Chinar Garden.GB Assembly Deputy Speaker Jaffarullah Khan was the chief guest, who hoisted the national flag, laid wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada and offered Fateha. Contingent of GB Scouts and GB Police presented guard of honour at the Yadgar.Speaking on the occasion, he condemned Indian government’s revocation of Article 370 and abrogation of special status of IHK.Expressing solidarity with Kashmiris, he said the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were extending their support to their Kashmiri brethren. He demanded United Nations to restore the special status of the valley.According to a report, rallies were taken out in Gilgit and other districts to express solidarity with Kashmir people.