Addressing a ceremony after performing flag-hoisting at Hazoori Bagh on Friday, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar said the independence day of Pakistan is an occasion of joy and happiness for every citizen of the country. “I extend heartiest felicitations to the nation on the 73rd birthday of Pakistan. It is an occasion to pay rich tributes to Pakistan Movements leaders and martyrs who sacrificed their everything for the motherland. Independence day reminds us that the blessing of freedom is the result of countless sacrifices and the great struggle of millions of Muslims and it was not doled out to us,” he said. The CM maintained the immortal sacrifices have given us the lesson of continuous struggle to make Pakistan great and strong. The chief minister emphasised that “we cannot forget Indian Occupied Kashmir on this independence day as brave Kashmiris are sacrificing their lives in Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan and Kashmir are siamese twins and I pray to Almighty Allah to grant freedom to the Kashmiris as soon as possible.” “Pakistan is a great country and Pakistanis are a great nation in the world. August 14 is a day to reiterate the commitment to make Pakistan great and strong and the nation is united for this cause,” he added. He reiterated that “we all will work hard to make Pakistan strong and prosperous and every individual will perform its duties honestly.” The democracy will be more strengthened in future while the economy and defence sectors will also be stronger and impregnable, the CM added. Administrator Lahore Metropolitan Corporation Danish Afzal presented the address of welcome. Provincial Ministers Raja Basharat, Fayyaz-ul- Hassan Chohan, Saeed ul Hassan Shah, Ejaz Alam, parliamentarians, Consul Generals of Turkey and China, Deputy Consul General of Turkey, Chief Secretary, IG Police and others attended the ceremony. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar laid a flower wreath on the grave of Allama Iqbal at Hazoori Bagh and offered fateha. He prayed for national prosperity and success of the freedom struggle of Kashmiris from Indian occupation in Occupied Kashmir. Khateeb Badhshahi Masjid Maula Abdul Khabeer Azad led the prayer. The CM also performed the national flag-hoisting ceremony at Alamgiri Gate of Lahore Fort. The national anthem was aired after the flag-hoisting. Separately, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Nawaf Bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Malkiy called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at his office on Friday and extended good wishes to him on the independence day of Pakistan. The CM also prayed for the good health of Saudi King Shah Salman Bin Abdulaziz. During the meeting, different matters came under discussion including Pakistan-Saudi relations and promotion of bilateral cooperation. Talking on the occasion, the CM stated that Pakistanis have a long-lasting spiritual attachment with Saudi Arabia and people of both countries are interlinked in the bond of brotherhood. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have historically-important bilateral relations and the cooperation extended by the Saudi government for the development of the country is praiseworthy. Saudi Arabia has always stood with Pakistan and it fully supported us in every hour of trial, the CM added. Usman Buzdar maintained that Pakistan gives great importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia and added that Pakistan has succeeded in overcoming the spread of coronavirus. We have reverted back to the pre-corona position, he added. He stated the foundation stone of Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project has been laid. It’s planned to develop a new Lahore to keep the city’s environment clean, he said. It would also provide secure investment opportunities to national and international investors and Saudi investors can take full benefit of many investment opportunities in this avant-garde project, he added. The government will provide every possible facility to the Saudi investors, the CM further said. The CM said that special economic zones are being set up where special incentives will be given to the investors and work on the special economic zone in Bahawalpur will be started soon. The PTI government has created ease in business which has strengthened the economy. The Saudi investors will be provided facilities through one-window operation, the CM concluded.