— President Mamnoon says India putting regional stability at stake
–Senior Indian diplomats and military officials also attend Pakistan Day parade on Gen Bajwa’s invite
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI: Expressing Pakistan’s anguish over Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir and its continued violation of the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC), President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday used the Pakistan Day military parade to warn India to stop its war-mongering, saying the rival country was putting regional peace at stake.
The president also paid tribute to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the safety and security of the country. He further said that peace was slowly but surely gaining a foothold in the country after successful operations like Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad.
In a rare move, Indian diplomats and senior Indian military officials in Pakistan also attended the parade, at a special invitation from the Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The invitation is being seen as an attempt to ease tension between the two states that have been involved in serious diplomatic tussle, cross-border firing incidents across LoC and Working Boundary, and anti-Pakistan statements from Indian government officials and politicians. The invitation for such a ceremony also makes it abundantly clear that Pakistan wants to assure India that it would protect every inch of its land come what may.
At the beginning of his speech, the president welcomed Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena as the guest of honour, who has flown to Pakistan especially for the occasion.
The president also greeted the forces from Turkey, Jordan and United Arab Emirates that are taking part in the parade, saying Pakistan’s friendship with its allies will prosper in the coming days.
On the occasion, the president also announced a new medal, Tamgha-e-Azm, to laud the efforts of people because of which the country is prospering and the economy has started to flourish.
The Pakistan Day parade resumed in 2015 after a gap of seven years and was seen as a manifestation of the military’s show of strength in the wake of a shocking attack in 2014 on the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar, which left 150 dead, including 132 schoolchildren.
The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals.
Special prayers were offered in mosques after Fajr prayers for the progress, prosperity, and solidarity of the country. The national flag was hoisted on major government buildings.
A Pakistan Day Joint Services parade was held at Parade Avenue in Islamabad on Friday morning with forces displaying their professionalism and military prowess.
The ceremony kicked off with the flypast of fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force led by Air Chief Mujahid Anwar Khan presenting a salute to the chief guest, President Mamnoon Hussain.
The parade was witnessed by Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, Indian military officials and diplomats, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, all three services chiefs and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and other senior civil and military officials.
Formations of fighter jets including F-16, JF 17, Mirage, F-17, AWACs. C-130 and P-3C Orion participated in the fly past.
Contingents of Pakistan Army, Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Special Services Groups, Frontier Corps, Rangers, Islamabad police, Nursing officers, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, marched past the dais presenting a salute to the chief guest and the guest of honor.
Troops from UAE, Jordan and Turkey also participated in the parade. The Engineering corps also presented its state of the art equipment.
Floats depicting the culture of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and the four provinces were also part of the parade. This was followed by the flypast of helicopters of Pakistan Army, PAF, and Navy.
Amidst cheers and applause by the audience, formations of Sherdils and JF-17 Thunder and F-16 fighter jets presented breathtaking aerobatic maneuvers spreading a range of colours in the skies.
The parade culminated with the presentation of a special song with the theme ‘Amn ka Nishan, Yeh Hamara Pakistan’.
CELEBRATIONS IN PROVINCIAL CAPITALS:
In Lahore, a contingent of Pakistan Air Force took charge of Mazar-e-Iqbal in a ceremony. Commander of PAF Base Lahore, Air Commodore Syed Sabahat Hassan laid floral wreath on the grave of national poet and offered fateha.
A Civilian Awards Distribution ceremony was held at Governor’s House in Lahore in which Provincial Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana conferred awards on personalities from various walks of life, in recognition of their meritorious services for the country.
Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah along with cabinet members visited the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.
Talking to media on this occasion, the governor said Karachi is now a peaceful city for which the security forces have worked continuously and rigorously.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that we all must work hard to make this country a strong one and ensure the democratic process continues.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in a ceremony in Peshawar gave awards to distinguished personalities. The martyrs and ghazis of KP police were also awarded the Quaid-e-Azam police and President Police Medals.
In connection with the Pakistan Day, an investiture ceremony was held at the Governor House, Quetta on Friday.
Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai on behalf of the president of Pakistan gave away Quaid-i-Azam Police Medal to Inspector General of Balochistan Police Moazzam Jah Ansari for his outstanding services for restoring peace in the province.
CELEBRATIONS ALL AROUND THE WORLD:
A flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Friday to celebrate the Pakistan Day.
High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood highlighted Pakistan’s achievements in deepening democratic culture and effectively addressing challenges of extremism and terrorism.
In China, Pakistan Ambassador Masood Khalid hoisted the flag at a ceremony at Pakistan Embassy in Beijing.
Ambassador Khalid on the occasion highlighted the importance of Pakistan-China friendship and said both countries share the dream of development, peace, and security in the region.
Similar flag hoisting ceremonies were also held at Pakistani Consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Meanwhile, a grand reception hosted by the Embassy of Pakistan in Tokyo was held to commemorate the Day. Ambassador Asad M Khan in his speech underlined the importance of close historical Pakistan-Japan relations.
In Sri Lanka, the High Commission of Pakistan and Pakistani community celebrated Pakistan Day with the resolve to make Pakistan a strong, vibrant, progressive and democratic welfare state.