Posts Tagged ‘ Wagah Border ’

Google Celebrates Pakistan’s Independence Day

By Sanain for Allvoices

For the very first time in the history of Google, a Google Doodle has been especially designed for Pakistan, on their 64th Independence Day. Google has put a green-colored doodle representing the color of Pakistan’s national flag on the Pakistani Google homepage.

The doodle is an absolute eye-catcher. The “l” of Google is replaced by “Minar-e-Pakistan”, which is the National Tower of Pakistan in Lahore. The upper half of the “g” is replaced by “A Crescent and a Star”, which represents an important part of Pakistan’s national flag. There can also be seen small-colored stars around the logo.

Pakistan’s Independence Day is observed every year on August 14, the day Pakistan was made an independent country based on borderlines created by the British towards the end of their rule of India. On this special day, Pakistan, in 1947, became an independent country and also the largest Muslim country of Asia.

The day is a national holiday in Pakistan. Main events of the day include flag raising ceremonies, tributes to national heroes, fireworks taking place in Islamabad, the capital of the country, changing of the guards at the mausoleum of Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Mazar-e-Quaid), Wagah Border ceremonies, patriotic fashion shows and musical concerts.

On its Independence Day, Pakistan also releases some prisoners who were arrested for illegally crossing into Pakistan from the neighboring and archrival country, India.

The main celebrations take place in Islamabad, where the president and prime minister raise the national flag at the presidential and parliament buildings and deliver speeches to the people of Pakistan. These speeches basically highlight the achievements of the government, goals set for the future and in the words of the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, bring “Unity, Faith and Discipline” to its people.
The credit for Pakistan’s independence goes to their famous leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, also known as the Quaid-e-Azam. His unparallel struggle and endeavors made it possible for Muslims of the Indian subcontinent to get a country for themselves.

The struggle for Pakistan’s independence has a background behind it. Pakistan was achieved to establish a Muslim country, which would prove as an example of piety, fair play and unity for the rest of the Muslim brotherhood.

It should be noted that last year, Pakistani government did not celebrate the Independence Day to show solidarity and moral support with the people affected by floods in 2010.

India, Pakistan Peaceniks Hold Candlelight Vigil on Wagah Border

By Sawinder Singh for ANI

Several intellectuals and peace activists from India and Pakistan held a candlelight vigil at Wagah border crossing in on the eve of Independence Day.

The objective of this annual event is to spread the message of peace and brotherhood on the occasion of the Independence Day celebrations of the two neighbouring countries-India and Pakistan.

The midnight vigil on August 14-15 was held on the 63rd Independence Day celebrations of both the countries.

Bollywood Film Producer-Director Mahesh Bhatt, veteran Indian journalist-writer Kuldeep Nayar, Aitzaz Ahsan, former Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association President and many social activists participated in the midnight vigil.

The participants carrying candlelights and torches marched to the Wagah Border raising slogans of Long Live India-Pakistan Friendship.

“Borders should be open and it should be soft and let people meet from both the countries. Because when people of both the countries will meet then governments will come under pressure and the situation will improve,” said Kuldeep Nayyar.

“Both countries can prosper only if there is a good relationship between them, we have to remove the poverty. Both countries are stricken with acute poverty, unemployment and hunger. Both the countries need to reduce their expenditure on weapons and then only we can reduce poverty and for that it is necessary to have peace, friendship and brotherhood,” added Aitzaz Ahsan, former Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association President.

On this occasion, a music concert was also held.

India and Pakistan achieved independence from Britain on the midnight of August 14, 1947. While Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on August 14, India marks its Independence Day on August 15.

This year Pakistan did not celebrate its independence day as a tribut to victims of recent floods in the country.

Aisam-Rohan Reach Wimbledon Quarter-Finals: Next Stop, Wagah

By Sehar Tariq for All Things Pakistan

Pakistan’s stellarly good-looking tennis champ Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi became the first Pakistani to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon when along with his Indian partner Rohan Bopannahe beat Lucas Lacko of Slovakia and Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine in straight sets in the Mens’ Double. Their straight set victory – 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2- in the Round of 16 now take them to the Mens’ Doubles Quarterfinals, and already place them in the top-8.

It was only two years ago that Aisam – who is Pakistan No. 1 and World No. 43 for Men’s Doubles –  became the first Pakistani to play at Wimbledon since 1976. Since then he has been steadily improving his game, including beating a doubles duo with Roger Federer in it last year. The news report in Dawn points out that “the Pakistani number one and world number 42 is a grass-court specialist and has been improving his performance at the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament in the last few years.”

But Pakistani Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and his doubles partner Rohan Bopanna from India are also attracting a lot of attention for where they come from, and what they are doing together. The unlikely Indo-Pak pair have been playing as one team and they have been sporting tennis jackets that say “Stop War Start Tennis.” Now they have suggested a novel idea of a tennis match played at the Wagah border.

The world is not used to seeing India and Pakistan step onto any field as one team so the unlikely duo have been making headlines. And they are making full and good use of it by promoting the game of Tennis in the cricket dominated subcontinent and spreading the message of peace. Aisam and Rohan met at the age of 16 at a tennis camp and they have been good friends ever since. They are a good example of how friendship can overcome barriers or race, religion and nationality. While their international tennis playing status has allowed them to remain friends and see each other frequently, there are thousands of people on both sides of the border who long and yearn to see the people and places they once loved and knew as home but have been unable to see for over 60 years due to cruel visa regimes and heartless politicians who drive wedges deeper and wider between India and Pakistan for personal gain.

According to a report in the Guardian , the two tennis players want to play a tennis match at Wagah, the border separating India and Pakistan. The border will serve as the net. Aisam will play on the Indian side and Rohan will play on the Pakistani side of the border. I want very much for the two to win the Quarter-Finals at Wimbledon, but maybe even more than that I want to see them playing at Wagah Border Crossing!

The tennis stars are trying to turn this fantastic idea into reality. And at this point in time, I think that is exactly what the two countries need. Their performance at Wimbledon and the recent positive vibes coming from the governments as well as civil society in both India and Pakistan makes this a very good time to pursue this idea.

I don’t know much about tennis but I really want this match to happen! I will go to watch. And I promise to read up everything I can and ask anyone I can to help me understand the game better so I am prepared to watch the war of tennis at the border. And I’m sure a lot of other Pakistanis will too. As will many Indians. We all love a little bit of healthy competition with the Indians!

I don’t know how one goes about organizing a tennis match at an international border. But I wish I knew how to do it. So if any of you have ideas, please help.

I would like to see some Indo-Pak tennis and also some regional peace and good will. And while I watch this match, I will put aside my intensely competitive patriotic feelings and cheer loudly for Rahul Bopanna. So Rohan, you try to make this tennis match happen – and we the 170 million people of Pakistan will cheer you on with all our might!

As both Aisam and Rohan have been saying: Its time to “Stop War Start Tennis!”

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