Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Pakistan Day is being celebrated across the country with traditional zeal and fervour today (Saturday).
A joint military parade is currently under way at Parade Ground near Islamabad’s Shakarparian hills.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is on a three-day visit to the country, is the guest of honour at the parade.
Top civil-military leadership, including President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and the chiefs of Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force are witnessing the parade.
The Bahraini army chief, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, and federal minister, including Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, are also present at the parade.
After the guests assembled on the stage, the parade began with the national anthem which was followed by a recitation of the Holy Quran.
Parade Commander Brigadier Naseem Anwar then requested the president to witness the parade.
In his address, President Dr Arif Alvi reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace and stability. He said Pakistan was ever willing to resolve issues through dialogue but also remained completely capable of defending itself against any aggression.
The president lauded the contribution of the armed forces towards Pakistan’s progress and cited the recent confrontation with India as an example of their proficiency.
Military contingents from China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka and Bahrain also participated in the parade.
Contingents of the three armed forces conducted a march-past, while a formation of Pakistan Air Force jets led by Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan presented a fly-past as a salute to the president.
Pakistan’s weaponry including Al-Zarrar and Al-Khalid tanks, a variety of armoured personnel carriers, and surveillance equipment such as the Giraffe radar was presented before the audience.
The day dawned with thirty-one-gun salute in the federal capital and twenty-one-gun salute in provincial capitals, Radio Pakistan reported.
Special prayers were offered in mosques after Fajr prayers for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.