ISLAMABAD: The nation celebrates Pakistan Day today with firm resolve to work hard to strengthen national security and solidarity.
The day marks adoption of historic Lahore Resolution this day in 1940 that provided a framework for realisation of the goal of a separate homeland for Muslims of South Asia.
The Day dawned with 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salute in provincial capitals followed by a joint parade of all three forces of the military: Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force, at Shakarparian Parade Avenue in the federal capital early Thursday morning.
A special feature of the parade this year is participation of Tri Services of People’s Liberation Army of China, Saudi Special Force’s contingents and Turkish Jannisary Military band.
Special prayers were also 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 General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif witnessed the parade. Among other dignitaries attended the ceremony was Chief of South African National Defence Force General Solly Zacharia.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman led the flypast of the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy aviation in an F-16 plane.
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.
Mechanised columns of Armoured Corps, Artillery, Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Strategic Force Command also participated.
In a historic first, Chinese troops took part in the March 23 parade.
A 90-member Chinese delegation had arrived in Pakistan on Monday to participate in the parade.
Saudi troops held a march-past and performed a salute to President of Pakistan.
The Turkish military band participated in Pakistan Day parade for the first time ever. The band, known as ‘mehtar’ in Turkish, is the oldest military band in the world, dating back to 1299.
An investiture ceremony will be held at Aiwan-e-Sadar in the evening wherein the President would confer awards and medals on different personalities for their outstanding contribution in different fields.
Radio Pakistan is broadcasting day-long special programmes featuring different aspects of Pakistan Movement. Newspapers have published special supplements.
To celebrate the Pakistan Day, an impressive flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, India this morning.
Pakistan Day in Sri Lanka
Flag hoisting ceremony on 77th National Day of Pakistan was held at the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The messages of President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were read out on the occasion.
High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Syed Shakeel Hussain highlighted that the day of 23rd March 1940 is the most significant day in the history of Pakistan.
The High Commissioner hoisted the Flag of Pakistan and cut National Day Cake with Children during the ceremony attended by a large number of participants from various walks of life.
Pakistan Day in India
Flag hoisting ceremony on Pakistan Day also held at High Commission, New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, High Commissioner Abdul Basit congratulated all Pakistan nationals in India on this auspicious occasion.
He said Pakistan was keen to settle all the issues with India, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, through dialogue.
Pakistan Day in Punjab
An impressive investiture ceremony was held at the Governor’s House in Lahore.
Punjab governor Rafique Rajwana as chief guest conferred awards to various personalities in recognition of their meritorious services for the country.
Pakistan Day in Sindh
Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair along with members of the Sindh cabinet visited the mazaar Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi.
He laid floral wreath and offered fateha.
Pakistan Day in AJK
Pakistan Day is also being celebrated throughout Azad Kashmir with national zeal and fervor.
Functions, Seminars and Rallies are being held all over Azad Kashmir to mark the day.
Various political, social, religious, educational and other organizations have chalked out special functions to highlight the significance of the Pakistan Day.—Radio Pakistan