Academicians and students of various varsities celebrated the 73rd Independence Day of the country with the spirit of patriotism and showed solidarity with the people of Indian-held Kashmir.The heads of educational institutions hoisted national flags at their respective campuses while students sang national anthems on the occasion. A ceremony of Independence Day at the Institute of Business Administration started with a prayer for the prosperity of the country, which was followed by recitation from the Holy Quran.Acting Executive Director IBA Karachi Dr Sayeed Ghani hoisted the national flag as the national anthem of Pakistan played along. During his address, he highlighted the importance of sincerity, freedom and loyalty for the country.Likewise, Karachi University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi after hoisting the national flag on campus said; “We are celebrating 73nd Independence Day with national fervour and offering special prayers for the wellbeing of the nation and the country and for people of Kashmir as each and every Pakistani is standing for the Kashmiris.”Vice Chancellor Iraqi stated that Indian- occupied Kashmir had been deprived of human rights and the Indian government had recently scrapped Article 370 that granted special status to Jummu and Kashmir, but it forgot that entire Pakistan was united for the Kashmiri people and their rights.“Each and every teacher, student, administrative and non-teaching staff is ready to sacrifice whatever it needs for the cause of Kashmir.” He said that as we could not step back from protecting our country, we have a similar attitude towards Kashmir.Earlier, the program commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran and Naat-e-Maqbool (SAW) after which the audience observed one-minute silence to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir.Later, the national flag was hoisted by the VC in the presence of a large number of students, along with deans of various faculties, directors of institutes and centres, heads of academic departments and teaching and non-teaching staff.At the University of Sindh, VC Prof Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat hoisted the national flag at the VC house with faculty, officers, employees and their families. Addressing the ceremony, the vice chancellor said that Pakistan was their pride, identity, love and land that had come into being on account of innumerable sacrifices of their elders.“This day reminds us of the formidable pre-independence ordeals our elders had to undergo before they became able to seek a separate independent state for us,” he said and added that it reminded the Pakistani masses of their predecessors’ inspiring struggle.The Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology also celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day. The participants paid glowing tributes to the stalwarts who sacrificed their lives during the struggle for having an independent homeland for the Muslims to live with their distinct identity and complete freedom.Addressing the ceremony, Chancellor Jawaid Anwar said: “It is with feelings of greatest happiness and emotion that we are celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day with patriotic zest. It marks the fulfillment of the destiny of the Muslim nation which made great sacrifices in the history to have its homeland.”Talking about Kashmir, he said that Kashmir was an ancient issue of the modern world, and the region would not have peace until the Kashmiris were given the right to take decisions with free will for their own future.He said Indian soldiers were standing at the house of each Kashmiri, and the people in occupied Kashmir were under siege by the Indian soldiers.He said they don’t have medicines, nor can they go to hospital, and even they are not allowed to do the funeral of their kins and relatives.“India is labelling the Kashmiri freedom fight as terrorism through propaganda but international media has understood the actual situation of Kashmir. It is great human tragedy. Now is the time to gather as one nation and support the army because we have grave challenges at the borders. India has occupied our water resources and planning to paralyze the whole country. It is not only Kashmir but Pakistan also has an issue of survival,” he said.Similarly, Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Altaf Hussain, after hoisting the national flag at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus, said thousands of people had sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country.“We have to strengthen Pakistan as this country belongs to us, our forefathers and to our next generations.” About the people of Kashmir, he said Pakistan would always support the Kashmir cause, and Kashmir could never be a part of India.