Pakistan marks 74th Independence Day

Rallies, flag-hoisting ceremonies and fireworks across the country marked the 74th Independence Day of Pakistan on Friday, amid a significant drop in the coronavirus casualties that have wreaked havoc on global lifestyle and economies.

The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in capital Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in all the four provincial capitals, followed by change-of-guards ceremonies at the mausoleums of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of South Asian nation, in the port city of Karachi, and Allama Mohammad Iqbal, the national poet, in northeastern city of Lahore.

Similar ceremonies were also held in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, state-run Pakistan Television reported.

The main ceremony was held at the President Office where President Arif Alvi hoisted the national flag. Heads of the lower house National Assembly, and the upper house Senate, chiefs of the three armed forces, ministers, and senior government officials also attended the ceremony.

The highlight of the day was conferring the country's the highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Pakistan (Order of Pakistan) upon p