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Armed forces display military might on Pakistan Day

Pakistani armed forces in tanks take part during the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 23, 2016. A poster of founder and first governor-general of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah is seen in the background. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

Pak defence impregnable: India compromised peace in region: President

ISLAMABAD: The nation celebrated Pakistan Day on Wednesday with a 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 the Lahore Resolution was passed demanding a separate homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent, dawned with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salutes in provincial capitals.

The highlight of the day was the joint military parade which was held at the Parade Ground near the Shakarparian hills in Islamabad.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chairman JCSCGeneral Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman  and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif witnessed the parade on the podium.

Chief of South African National Defence Force General Solly Zacharia witnessed the parade among other dignitaries.

Troops of the parade included contingents of the Pakistan Army, navy, air force, Frontier Corps, Northern Light Infantry, Mujahid Force, Islamabad Police, tri-service Lady officers, tri-service Armed Forces Nursing Service, Girls Guide, Boys Scouts, Special Service Group from three Services, mechanised columns of Armoured Corps, Artillery, Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Strategic Force Command, and President’s body guards.

Pakistan Army’s tanks, including the Al-Khalid and Al Zarrar, also presented gun salutes to the chief guest on the occasion.

The impressive ceremony of Pakistan Day parade kicked off with a splendid fly past of aircraft of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy led by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.

The formations of F-16, JF-17 thunder, Mirage, AWACs, P3-C Orion and F-7 presented salute to the chief guest by flying over the dais.

F-16 and JF-17 Thunder aircraft presented spell bound aerobatic display to the wide applause of the audience at the conclusion of the function. Chinese Z-10 attack helicopters, AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, Puma transport helicopters and Mi-17 transport helicopters were part of Army Aviation’s fly-past contingent. Addressing the Parade, President Mamnoon Hussain termed Pakistan’s defence as impregnable and said the country’s conventional and nuclear capabilities were meant to ensure global and regional peace.

The President expressed the resolve that the nation will not hesitate in rendering any sacrifice for defence, security, development, and prosperity of the country.

He said we want peace and friendship with the whole world specially the neighbors. However, he said, India’s irresponsible attitude and consistent violations of Line of Control and Working Boundary have jeopardized peace of the region.

Mamnoon Hussain said Pakistan is ready for dialogue with India and wants resolution of the Kashmir dispute, which is unfinished agenda of the partition.He assured that Pakistan would continue, moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people. He urged the international community to fulfil its responsibility to ensure lasting peace in the region.

The President said in the last few years Pakistan has been facing terrorism and  due to sacrifices of Shuhada, Pakistan today is more safe. He said after Zarb e Azab,  Radd ul Fasaad operation will continue till complete elimination of terrorists. He said the Pakistani nation fully backed the armed forces in fight against terrorism.

He asked the Jawans to continue to protect the country so that Pakistani flag continue flying high in the future. The President said the country’s economy is getting stronger and stable due to prudent policies of the government and Pakistan is emerging as a strong economy in the region.

He said in the journey to development, Pakistan enjoys cooperation of its sincere friends especially China. He pointed out that China Pakistan Economic Corridor has opened the doors of development not only for Pakistan but for the whole region.

He also spoke high of Saudi Arab and Turkey for sending troops and ban for the all important day.

Turkish military band ‘Mehter’, the world’s oldest military band participated and performed at the parade for the first time.

Paratroopers 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.

INP

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