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ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has kicked off a day of celebrations marking the country’s 71 years of statehood and independence.

This year, the anniversary comes amid political change with a new government taking over following the July 25 general elections. Pakistan’s former cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan is to become the next prime minister.

President Mamnoon Hussain hoisted the national flag at a ceremony in Islamabad on Tuesday while Pakistanis across the country raised the banner at their homes and on their cars.

Fireworks erupted over the capital, Islamabad, at midnight on Monday, ushering in the festivities. During the day, gun salutes were held in Islamabad and the four provincial capitals.

Festive rallies and school functions were also taking place.

Pakistan gained independence when British left India and split the subcontinent in 1947.