Chinese and Saudi troops and a Turkish military band featured at the Pakistan Day Parade in Islamabad.
The 77th Pakistan Day is being celebrated by the nation on Thursday (23 March 2017) with enthusiasm and 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 event of 1940 when Lahore Resolution was passed leading led to the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia in 1947. The historic resolution, known as the Pakistan Resolution, was approved on March 23, 1940.
The Day dawned with 31-gun salute in Islamabad and 21-gun salute in provincial capitals.
Special prayers were offered in mosques after Fajr prayers for the progress, prosperity and solidarity of the country.
President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest of 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.
Chinese, Saudi and South African troops are also participating in the ceremony. A Turkish military band also featured at the parade.
Pakistan Aviation’s stunning performance at Parade
Various aircraft belonging to Army Aviation and Pakistan Air Force performed a fly-past and demonstrated aerobatic performances 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.
Pak Armed Forces display military might on Pakistan Day parade
Contingents of the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Frontier Corps and Pakistan Rangers held a march-past and performed a salute to President of Pakistan.
Troops which took part in the parade included contingents of the Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, 18 Punjab Regiment, 21 Frontier Force Regiment, 10 Northern Light Infantry Regiment, 760 Mujahid Battalion, Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Rangers Punjab, Paratroopers, 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 (SSG) and President Bodyguards.
Sherdils and Paratroopers wow the crowd
Fighter aircraft of PAF, Pakistan Navy and helicopters of the Army Aviation presented the fly past while there was a heart-warming show by the Sherdil formation, JF-17 Thunder and F-16 (Fighting Falcon) of the PAF.
Thirteen skydivers from the three armed forces jumped with the national flag and the flags of the three services, landing smoothly on the ground. The participating paratroopers represented the three services, with jumpers from the Shahbaz team of army’s Special Services Group (SSG) leading the jump, followed by the Sea Eagle team of Pakistan Navy and Shahpar team of the PAF.
COAS pledge to rid country of all extremists
In his special message for Pakistan Day, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa called upon the entire nation to “pledge to clean up our Pakistan from fasaadis”.
COAS, in his message, said that on March 23, 1940 “we pledged to create Pakistan and we honourably succeeded in creation of our homeland”.
“Let us pledge again today that we shall clean our country from fasaadis,” he said. “We all own Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!”
Chinese troops take part in Pakistan Day Parade 2017
In a historic first, Chinese troops were also seen marching at the March 23 parade. A 90-member Chinese delegation is in Pakistan to participate in the parade. It is for the first time that Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are performing outside China.
Prior to the parade, Major General Li Chan told Chinese media in Pakistan: “We are here, as representatives of the Chinese public, to make the Pak-China friendship stronger.”
“We could feel the warmth of the Pak-China friendship upon our arrival in Pakistan,” the major general said. “I hope that the friendship between the two countries thrives and flourishes. Pakistan is China’s closest friend, best neighbour and strategic ally.”
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang extended his warm congratulations and best wishes to the government of Pakistan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the occasion.
In his message of felicitation to his Pakistani counterpart, the Chinese premier said in recent years, under the leadership of “Your Excellency”, the Pakistani people had properly responded to different kinds of challenges and marked new achievements in maintaining national security, stability and economic development.
Turkish Military Band ‘Mehter’ perform on Pakistan Day
Turkish Janissary Military Band ‘Mehter’ performed at Pakistan Day Parade on 23 March as part of the 70th Year celebration of Pakistan.
The Turkish military band performed in their traditional costume and played various tunes including ‘Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan’. Formed in 1299, Mehtaran is considered one of the oldest bands in the world.
For centuries, Mehter accompanied the Ottoman Army during its march into the battles and Mehter music gave confidence, strength and courage to the Ottoman soldiers while striking fear and terror into the hearts of their enemies.