Pakistan Day is celebrated to mark the Lahore Resolution on March 23 each year. The Lahore Resolution, also known as Pakistan Resolution, passed on March 23, 1940, is considered a major milestone in the Muslim struggle for an independent state.
The ceremony began with the recitation of the Holy Quran. President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest of the ceremony.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Defence Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee Zubair Mehmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of Air Staff Mujahid Anwar Khan also attended the ceremony.
The special feature of this year’s parade was Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s participation, who was the guest of honour for the event. The participation of Sri Lankan President in the parade was a demonstration of close friendly ties between the two countries.The Indian Press Attache also attended the parade.
Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam also attended the ceremony. Besides a large number of diplomats from several countries, artists and people from different walks of life attended the ceremony.
Contingents of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, and Pakistan Navy held a march-past and salute to the President of Pakistan. As per tradition, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan led a fly-past as a salute to the President.
Pakistan armed forces’ troops including Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers, Northern Light Infantry, Mujahid Battalion, Tri Services Lady Officers, Tri Services Armed Forces Nursing Services, Special Services Group and President Bodyguards also took part in the parade.
Troops from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in the parade for the first time. A marching band from Jordon also featured in the parade for the first time.
Army Aviation and Pakistan Air Force’s aeroplanes showcased scintillating aerobatic skills on the occasion. The combat and attack helicopters and skydivers of airborne units of the Pakistan Armed Forces demonstrated breathtaking skills.
The fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force, which took part in the fly-past included F-16 Fighting Falcon, JF-17 Thunder, Mirage and other surveillance aircrafts.
The fly-past reflects the might of Pakistan Air Force on the national occasion.
Another feature of this year’s ceremony was the demonstration of Turkish Air planes.
Civil organisations also showed their material presence at the parade by exhibiting floats, depicting developments achieved by the country as well as the regional culture and heritage. Cultural delegates from Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan featured during the ceremony, depicting country’s diverse culture.
Following the soldiers’ parade and demonstration of cultural delegates, mechanised columns of various prestigious services of the country exhibited inventory of highly sophisticated and modern weaponry and arsenal. Pakistan armed forces displayed tanks and other weapon systems in the parade. Pakistan Army tanks, including the Al Khalid and Al Zarrar presented gun salutes to the President. Radar systems and other weapons equipped with state-of-the-art military technology were also shown. The Ghauri missile, the Shaheen missile and the NASR missile as well as the Babur cruise missile were also exhibited in the parade.
Earlier, the day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the Federal Capital and 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals. After Fajr prayers, special prayers were offered for the progress, prosperity and welfare of the country, while national flag was hoisted at all major government buildings.