ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP):The nation on Saturday celebrated Pakistan Day with traditional zeal and a renewed commitment to work hard for progress, prosperity and made Pakistan progressive country with a strong defence.
The Day is observed on March 23 every year to commemorate the passage of Lahore Resolution on this day in 1940 when the Muslims of the Sub-continent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.
The Day was dawned with thirty-one-gun salute in the Federal Capital and twenty-one-gun salute in provincial capitals.
Special prayers were offered in mosques after Fajr prayers for the progress and prosperity of the country.
National flag was hoisted on all major government buildings. The main feature of the day was a spectacular military parade at Parade Avenue in Islamabad where three wings of the armed forces demonstrated their professionalism and military prowess. After the guests assembled on the stage, the parade began with the national anthem followed by recitation of the Holy Quran.
President Dr. Arif Alvi was the chief guest at the ceremony, while Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad 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 participated in the event.
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.
While addressing the ceremony, President Dr. Arif Alvi said Pakistan, being a strong and peaceful nuclear state as well as an emerging economic power, believed in peaceful co-existence and did not want war.
“But our desire for peace should not be misconstrued as our weakness. With the grace of Almighty Allah our defence is impregnable,” he said while speaking at an impressive Pakistan Day joint parade by the country’s armed forces here at the Shakarparian Parade Ground.
The President said Pakistan with its ever-alive and strong nation, was a reality which should be accepted by India as its shortsighted and imprudent approach was dangerous for regional peace.
He said there was a need to wage war against the challenges of poverty, unemployment, health, education etc. in the region.
Following the President’s speech, troops from Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers, Northern Light Infantry and others took part in the parade. The parade also featured troops from Azerbaijan, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain and Sri Lanka.
Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan has reiterated PAF’s commitment to safeguard the air frontiers of Pakistan.
While crossing the dais in an airplane, the Air Chief using the radio communication from the aircraft saluted the resilience of Pakistani nation in his words, “Make no mistake; we will always safeguard Pakistan.”
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 leaving the mark of Pak-China friendship.
Breathtaking feats by the Turkish aircraft, done with extreme professionalism were also a treat for every eye.
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.
A stunning display of paratroopers getting off the helicopters in parachutes and landing on their specified destinations in front of the audience was also part of the cerement.
Skydivers from the three armed forces as well as from Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Brunei and KSA exhibited their skills in this segment.
The change-of-guards ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Dr Allama Iqbal in Lahore.
Pakistan Air Force troops took over guard duty at the mausoleum of Iqbal where Air Commodore Rizwan Malik was the chief guest of the ceremony.
Meanwhile, the various events were also held throughout the country including provincial capitals to mark the day. Award ceremonies were also held at the President House and Governors Houses.
Pakistan missions abroad as well as different organizations and societies have also arranged functions and ceremonies to commemorate Pakistan Day inculcating the spirit for the progress, prosperity, and defence of the country.