Pakistan, rest of the world welcome 2017 with fireworks
PAKISTAN/WORLD: Welcoming the year 2017, youths took to the streets in all major cities of Pakistan and resorted to aerial firing and fireworks with dance on latest tunes.
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Families are enjoying food while youth is making merry with bike riding stunts and fireworks despite heavy deployment of police in Lahore and Karachi.
Karachi is witnessing youth coming out on the streets in large numbers and engaging in fireworks. Bahria Town Icon saw the city’s best fireworks.
Youth in Faisalabad not only celebrated the New Year but also rejoiced over the government’s decision not to increase petroleum prices.
Prime Minister’s Message
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated the nation and expressed hope that the new year will bring more happiness and prosperity for Pakistanis.
“The upcoming year 2017 will surely mark a new beginning in the history of Pakistan to the fact that we have decisively turned a page in our history and have significantly overcome the challenges of extremism and terrorism,” said the PM.
Around 1.5 million people packed Australia’s biggest city to watch as the midnight fireworks erupted from Sydney Harbour Bridge sending rainbow-coloured showers soaring into the night sky.
Crowds in Hong Kong also flocked to the waterfront to watch fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour while in Japan thousands packed the streets of Tokyo to release balloons into the air.
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Shoppers in Japan had earlier filled markets to buy tuna and crabs — seen as expensive items for special feasts — for New Year’s Day family gatherings.
The celebrations draw to an end a year of bloodshed and misery that has seen the war in Syria, Europe’s migrant crisis and numerous terror attacks dominate the headlines.
The German capital has beefed up security after the December 19 attack there, deploying more police, some armed with machine guns.
“This year, what’s new is that we will place concrete blocks and position heavy armoured vehicles at the entrances” to the zone around Brandenburg Gate, a police spokesman said.
Visitors seemed undeterred by recent events as they began to gather under a cold blue sky for a series of concerts ahead of a large midnight fireworks display in the area.
In Paris, there were fireworks again, after muted 2015 celebrations following the massacre of 130 people by militants in the French capital.
Nearly 100,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers will be deployed across France against the militant threat.
Brussels, meanwhile, has reinstated its firework show after last year’s was cancelled at the last minute due to a terrorist threat.
More than a million people turned out to watch the ball drop in Times Square, New York deployed 165 “blocker” trucks and some 7,000 police.
London had 3,000 officers on patrol with crowds flocking to line the banks of the Thames to watch the fireworks.
Up to two million people are expected to party at Rio’s Copacabana beach. But with Brazil mired in its worst recession in a century, the fireworks have been cut to just 12 minutes.
Normally boisterous Bangkok was seeing in the new year on a more sombre note as the nation grieves for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October.
Thailand’s new King Maha Vajiralongkorn urged his subjects to “unite” in a nationally televised speech on Saturday, his first major address to the politically split nation since ascending to the throne.
And, at the stroke of midnight, the celebrations will last one second longer — a leap second — decreed by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service to allow astronomical time to catch up with atomic clocks that have called the hour since 1967.