Colourful parade marks Pakistan Day after 7 years hiatus
This parade is organised at the newly constructed Parade Ground near Faizabad Interchange.
The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salutes in provincial capitals.
The colourful ceremony of Pakistan Day parade kicked off with a splendid fly-past of aircraft of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy led by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.
The formations of F-16, JF-17, Mirage, F-7 PG and P-3C Orion presented salute to the chief guest by flying over the saluting dais.
Different regiments of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force marched past the saluting dais presenting salute to the President.
Mechanised columns including tanks, rocket launchers, indigenously developed short and long range missiles including Nasr, Babar, Shaheen-1, Shaheen II, radars and unmanned aerial vehicles Burraq were showcased at the parade.
Floats depicting culture of the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan were also part of the parade.
Helicopters of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Navy presented fly-past. Personnel of Special Services Groups displayed a breathtaking show of paratrooping. The skydivers of the Special Services Groups presented heart touching free fall from 10,000 feet while carrying the national flags.
Aircraft of Pakistan Air Force including JF-17 Thunder presented aerobatic maneuvers amidst the cheers and clapping of the spectators.
Addressing the Pakistan Day parade, President Mamnoon Hussain resolved to rid the country of terrorism, militancy, ethnicity and sectarianism to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.
The President said Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all countries particularly the neighbors. He said Pakistan wants a peaceful settlement of all issues with India, including Kashmir.
Mamnoon Hussain said Kashmir issue should be resolved in accordance with UN resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.
He said Pakistan Day provides us an opportunity to remember our forefathers, who waged a relentless struggle for the creation of homeland.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmoud and three services chiefs were also present on the occasion.
The Pakistan Day parade in the capital, held amid tight security with traffic and pedestrian access blocked, had been canceled since 2008 amid fears of a Taliban attack.
The parade also sends a message to India. The two nuclear-armed neighbors have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947 and continuing mistrust is a factor behind conflict in various parts of the region including Afghanistan.
Pakistan Day commemorates March 23, 1940, when the Muslim League demanded the establishment of separate nations to protect Muslims in the then British colony of India.