Death of an Empire, birth of a Country

On August 14, 1947, a new country appeared on the face of the earth. From the Muslim dream about a pure country only for them, came reality: Pakistan was created. At the same time, Britain ceased being an empire and India was divided.

The act of existing brought its difficulties to Pakistan. Dividing a society as religiously mixed as India brought tensions and incredible violence - about a million people were killed in the unrest that followed partition. Later on, borders were disputed and fought over in three wars. Ethnic tensions led to civil war and the emergence of Bangladesh as a separate country. However, on August 14, focus is on the good things. Freeeeedom! And all that.

The day is celebrated in Pakistan and among Pakistanis all over the world. The celebration is pretty standard as national day celebrations go. This is is an excerpt from a description of August 14, 2001, at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, DC:

The ceremony commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran,
followed by the National Anthem of Pakistan, hoisting of
Pakistan's Flag and reading of the August 14 message of Pakistan
President General Pervez Musharraf by Pakistan's Ambassador to
the USA Dr. Maleeha Lodhi.

India gained independence at the same time as Pakistan, but celebrates it the following day - August 15.

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