Pakistan Day is being celebrated across the country with national zeal and fervour.
The nation commenced celebrations for the 77th Pakistan Day with a pledge to make the country stronger by wiping out the menace of terrorism, achieving sustainable economic growth and political stability.
The day marks the historic Lahore Resolution of 1940, when the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent.
Nawaz Sharif arrives at the venue for the Pakistan Day military parade. —AFP
The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salutes in provincial capitals.
The highlight of the day is the joint military parade, which was held at Parade Ground near the Shakarparian hills in Islamabad.
President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest at the event. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sohail Aman and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif witnessed the parade.
The ceremony commenced with the singing of the national anthem, after which the president observed the parade from a jeep.
Chinese and Saudi troops and a Turkish military band also featured at the event.
The military parade resumed in 2015 after a gap of seven years and was seen as a manifestation of the military’s show of strength in the wake of a shocking attack in 2014 on the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar, which left 150 dead, including 132 schoolchildren.
PM Nawaz Sharif and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif wait for the arrival of President Mamnoon Hussain. —AFP
President Mamnoon Hussain rides a horse-drawn carriage escorted by presidential guards. —AFP
Chinese, Saudi troops march in parade
Contingents of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Frontier Corps and Pakistan Rangers held a march-past and a salute to the president of Pakistan.
Saudi troops participate in the march-past.
SSG troops of the Pakistan Army march at the parade.
Troops of the parade included contingents of the 18 Punjab Regiment, 21 Frontier Force Regiment, 10 Northern Light Infantry Regiment, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air force, 760 Mujahid Battalion, Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Rangers Punjab, Pakistan Police (represented by the Islamabad Police), Tri Services Lady Officers, Tri Services Armed Forces Nursing Services, Boy Scouts, Pakistan Girl Guides, Special Services Group, and President Bodyguards.
The parade also included marches by the Saudi Special Forces, who were represented by the Saudi Land Forces, as well as the Tri Services People’s Liberation Army of China.
Turkish military band ‘Mehtar’ performed in their traditional costume and played various tunes including ‘Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan’. Formed in 1299, Mehtar is considered one of the oldest bands in the world.
Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops march at the parade.
Turkish military band performs at the parade.
Al Khalid and Al Zarrar tanks roll in
Al Khalid tank regiment enters the parade venue.— DawnNews
Pakistan Army tanks, including the Al Khalid and Al Zarrar, presented gun salutes to the chief guest.
During the parade radars systems and other weapons equipped with military technology were also presented.
Pakistani tanks take part in the parade.— DawnNews
The NASR missile, which hosts a 60 kilometre range; the Shaheen missile with a range of 900km; the Ghauri missile system, which can hit targets of up to 1,300km in range; and the Babur cruise missile were also rolled out in the parade.
With a highly precise guidance system and the capability to reach targets 2,750km away, the Shaheen-III missile was also showcased during the event.
Army Aviation fly-past
PAF Sherdils perform manoeuvres.— DawnNews
Various aircraft belonging to Army Aviation and Pakistan Air Force performed a fly-past and demonstrated aerobatic feats for the audience present.
AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, Fennec helicopters, Skyraiders, Mi-17 transport helicopters and Puma transport helicopters were part of Army Aviation’s fly-past contingent.
Army Aviation’s fly past was followed by an aerobatic performance by the PAF’s Sherdils. JF-17 Thunder and a F-16 fighter from the storied No.9 Squadron of the PAF wowed the audience.
Paratroopers wow the crowd
A paratrooper jumps from 10,000 feet.— DawnNews
Thirteen skydivers from the three armed forces jumped with the national flag and the flags of the three services, landing comfortably on the ground.
The participating paratroopers represented the three services, with jumpers from the Shahbaz team of the Army’s Special Services Group leading the jump, followed by the Sea Eagle team from Pakistan Navy and the Shahpar team from PAF.
The divers jumped from a height of 10,000 feet.
Parade celebrates Pakistani culture
A cultural parade featuring people and floats from Pakistan’s four provinces Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir was presented during the ceremony.
The parade showcased the local cultures of the four provinces, while models of historical regional landmarks were presented on the floats.
Azad Kashmir is featured during the cultural parade.
Pakistan ready for dialogue with India: president
President Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, in his address at the ceremony, said Pakistan’s nuclear power would ensure regional peace and stability.
The president also urged the international community to play a role in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
“We are ready for dialogue with India and want to resolve the incomplete agenda of the division of the subcontinent, in accordance with the UN resolutions on Kashmir,” he added.
President Hussain said India’s irresponsible behaviour had been ‘jeopardising the peace of the region’.
President Mamnoon Hussain addresses the ceremony.— DawnNews
Speaking on terrorism, he hailed the role of Pakistan’s security forces and said that Operation Raddul Fassad will continue till the elimination of remaining terrorists in the country.
He said Pakistan has emerged as a strong economic power in the region, and thanked China and other friendly countries for their cooperation.
The president noted the presence of troops from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and also highlighted that troops from Saudi Arabia were also participating in the ceremony.
Chief of Air Staff leads fly-past
Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sohail Aman led a fly past of PAF jets over the parade venue to honour President Mamnoon Hussain.
Military jets perform a fly-past.
Change of guard in Lahore
A change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Dr Allama Iqbal in Lahore.
PAF personnel paraded and saluted Iqbal’s tomb. Air Commodore Salman Mehboob was the chief guest at the ceremony.
Courtesy : Dawn News