Cannons boomed a dawn salute and thousands of Pakistan's olive-green and white flags were raised across the country to mark its 60th anniversary on Tuesday, which fell amid a political crisis and surging militant violence.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, in speeches and appearances celebrating the milestone, praised Pakistan's emergence as a Muslim nation with an important international role, but warned its people they must not succumb to extremism.
They renewed vows not to let any nation violate Pakistan's sovereignty - comments apparently directed at the United States rather than longtime rival India - and Aziz said becoming the world's first nuclear-armed Muslim country remained a point of national pride.
In the capital, Islamabad, 31 artillery guns fired at daybreak, marking the start of ceremonies to celebrate August 14, 1947, when independence was granted by British colonial rulers and the subcontinent was partitioned into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu-dominated India.
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