ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP):A spectacular display of military prowess and professional excellence took place here at the Parade Ground near Shakarparian as part of the countrywide celebrations to mark the Pakistan Day.
President Dr Arif Alvi was the chief guest at the ceremony, while Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who arrived in Pakistan on a three-day visit Thursday, was the guest of honour.
The country’s top civil and military leadership, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan were also present.
Bahrain’s Commander of the National Guard Lieutenant General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defence Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, federal ministers, and members of the Parliament also attended the ceremony.
The Air Chief, who led a fly-past, saluted President Arif Alvi from the cockpit of the F-16 plane. Following him, a formation of four JF-17 Thunder fighter jets exhibited aerial manoeuvres, displaying the professional excellence of Pakistan Air Force. Following that similar daring feats of different aircraft, including Mirage and F-7PG were held.
The sky of Islamabad became lively when a Chinese aerobatic team with six J-10 fighter jets appeared and completed a series of manoeuvres, emitting colourful smoke in the air to leave the mark of Pak-China friendship.
Breathtaking feats by the Turkish aircraft, done with extreme professionalism were also a treat for every eye.
Another main feature of the parade was a march-past, held by the contingents of armoured and mechanised infantry. The Al Zarrar tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), Al-Khalid Main Battle Tank (MBT ) and artillery howitzer guns were paraded right in front of a large number of audience. Similarly, radar systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles and other state-of-the-art weapons were also rolled out on the occasion.
The Pakistan Rangers band played national songs on bagpipes while riding on camels. The parade also showcased cultures of all the four provinces. The cultural delegates and floats from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir featured during the ceremony
Contingents from Frontier Corps, Northern Light Infantry, Pakistan Rangers and others participated in the parade. Similarly, contingents from friendly countries, including China, Azerbaijan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey, Bahrain and Sri Lanka also took part in the parade.
The last segment of the ceremony was a stunning display of paratroopers getting off the helicopters in parachutes and landing on their specified destinations in front of the audience. Skydivers from the three armed forces as well as from Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Brunei and KSA exhibited their skills in this segment.