ISLAMABAD: The nation is celebrating the 82nd Pakistan Day with zeal and fervour today (March 23), with the joint armed forces parade held in full swing in the federal capital to exhibit the country’s military prowess and cultural diversities.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Naval Chief Admiral Ajmal Khan Niazi, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak attended the arms show.
Other cabinet members, diplomats, senior civil and military officials, and prominent figures who gained accolades for their services to Pakistan were also present on the occasion.
The parade held at Shakarparian Parade Ground included contingents of the tri-services, paramilitary forces and civil armed forces, whereas the troops from Pakistan’s friend countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Bahrain also participated in the show.
Nation will always keep independence of Pakistan dear: Alvi
President Dr Arif Alvi while addressing the ceremony said that the nation knows the value of the hard-earned sovereignty and independence of Pakistan and said that it will always keep it dear.
“I want to make it clear to the enemy that Pakistan will never compromise on its sovereignty as the nation and armed forces are ready to thwart any hostility. ,” he said, adding that any external aggression would be strongly dealt with.
President Alvi said the expansionist designs of Pakistan’s neighbouring country was a matter of concern for the security and stability of South Asia.
He mentioned India’s illegal occupation in Jammu and Kashmir and urged the international community and the United Nations to stop the ongoing human rights violations.
Referring to the country’s resolve against fighting extremism and terrorism, he said, “Pakistani nation has made immense sacrifices in wars and stood resilient against internal and external conspiracies.”
“We should always keep in view the saying of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to stand united as a nation and demonstrate faith and discipline within our ranks,” he said.
He lauded the valour and courage of the country’s armed forces and nation for making their homeland strong and prosperous, and paid glowing tribute to the countrymen who laid their lives for the sovereignty of the country and contributed towards its stability.
“Being a strong and united nation, we vow to keep high the integrity and sovereignty of our motherland,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the nation would stand undeterred in the journey towards making the country strong and prosperous.
“This event is the reflection of unity and progress of our nation and also shows the picture of our military strength,” he said.
Key highlights of the event
One of the important highlights of the parade was the fly-past of the newly inducted J-10C fighter jets along with various formations of Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft, which was led by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Babar Sidhu as per the tradition.
The J-10C aircrafts, equipped with cutting-edge technology, were inducted into the Pakistan Air Force’s squadron earlier this month.
The marching columns of Armour Corps, Artillery, Rangers, Air Defence, Coast Guards, and the women contingent of Armed Forces Nursing Service passed by the dais.
The commandos of the Special Services Group (SSG) also demonstrated their skills during the parade, while the Sherdils team of seven Karakoram aircraft presented enthralling aerobatics, leaving a colourful trail of smoke in the blue sky.
Later, paratroopers of the three services made freefall jumps from the altitude of 10,000 feet and precisely landed at their designated targets in the ground.
Another colourful attraction of the event was the display of floats of all four provinces, including Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, depicting their unique culture through artefacts, folk songs and dances in a show of national harmony. A special float of OIC countries was also showcased for the interest of specially invited delegations.
Meanwhile, the participants of 48th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers also attended the Pakistan Day parade on special invitation. This year’s theme is “Shad Rahe Pakistan” (May Pakistan Be Happy) and which is adapted from the words “Markaz e Yaqeen Shad Bad” in our national anthem (Blessed be the citadel of faith).
Pakistan Day theme
This year’s Pakistan Resolution Day was celebrated under the theme “Shad Rahe Pakistan”, which is also the title of the latest enthralling national song recently released by the Inter-Services Public. The song is written and sung by lyricist and singer Shuja Haider, with vocalist Yashal Shahid.
Moreover, the ISPR also issued a short public message to pay homage to the nation and the father of the nation.
Earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi issued a special statement, on the occasion.
The statement, released on the official Twitter account of President of Pakistan, embodies messages for the nation about independence, national stability, supremacy of law, human and minority rights to mention some.
“Achieving national freedom is considered as half work. The remaining half, being crucial for a state’s security and stability, is equally important. This includes blending of various ethnic and minority groups into a single nation, ensuring the supremacy of law, eliminating terrorism and internal disturbances, achieving economic growth, promoting good relations with the world and above all, protecting human rights of all the citizens of the state,” the statement read.