Monday Aug 16, 2021
BIRMINGHAM: The Library of Birmingham was lit up in the colours of the Pakistani flag to mark Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day.
The landmark building, located in the heart of Birmingham, was illuminated in green and white colours for the first time as part of the celebrations of Pakistan’s Independence Day.
A number of British Pakistanis living in and around Birmingham — the second biggest city of the UK — had gathered at Centenary Square outside the central library for the Independence Day celebrations.
Holding the Pakistani flags, dressed in green-and-white coloured clothes, and chanting slogans like “Pakistan Zindabad”, “Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan” and “Dil Dil Pakistan, Jan Jan Pakistan” the crowd paid rich tribute to those who fought for the freedom to get a separate state.
The move to light up the iconic building into green and white lights was initiated by Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands Dr Nasir Awan on Pakistan’s Independence Day to mark the celebrations.
Dr Awan, who is also the vice president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, told Geo News that this is to show that how much the diaspora community living here in the UK values Pakistan.
“This is the centre point of Birmingham, a city which is home to more than two hundred thousand people of Pakistani origin [...] we always organise so many small gatherings and events at homes, in the restaurants, or halls but this year I had this idea to bring the people out at one place to celebrate with passion," he said.
He vowed to make these celebrations a norm in the coming years.
“I only wish that people come and appreciate Pakistan, remember those who sacrificed their lives for an independent homeland, and learn about the visions of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal," he added.
Sardar Mohammad Khattak, Consul at Birmingham's Pakistan Consulate speaking to Geo News, said: "Indeed it’s a great atmosphere. I'm so glad that see for the first time our community is celebrating the day with such passion."
People told Geo News that for the last year-and-a-half, they were unable to celebrate days like Eid and August 14 due to COVID-19 but this year they had the perfect opportunity to express their love for Pakistan and celebrate the day in the open.
These events are also the perfect occasions to tell the younger generation living in the UK about the importance of this day and the sacrifices made by their ancestors to achieve freedom.
Another flag-raising ceremony was held outside the Birmingham City Council building. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham Mohammad Afzal along with Lady Mayoress, fellow councillors, and community members raised Pakistan’s national flag to mark Independence Day.