ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Day parade was held at Parade Avenue near the landmark Shakarparian hills as the Pakistani nation celebrates 77th Pakistan day with gusto.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain and COAS General Qamar Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif,  families of martyrs and top level officials attended the event.

Personnel from all three armed forces: Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force, along with their counterparts from China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey displayed their strength on the occasion.

Turkish military bands mesmerised the audience with their performance and earned a huge round of applause.

PM Nawaz arrives at parade avenue

The parade started with a colourful flypast led by Chief of Air Staff Sohail Aman. The flypast comprised of multiple formations including JF-17, F-16 and aircraft of Pakistan Army’s Aeronautical Corps.

Chief of Air Staff Sohail Aman leading the fly past

Sherdil Squadron with its brilliant display of aerial performance gave goose bumps to the audience.

Speaking on the prestigious occasion, President Mamnoon Hussain stated that Pakistan was making its mark on the global map due to progressive economy.

President Mamnoon arrives at Parade avenue

‘I congratulate all the participants and the special guests present here. We are a peaceful nation but India with its aggressive attitude has jeopardised the environment. We are open to dialogue with India on all the disputes including Kashmir’ said Mamnoon Hussain.

President Mamnoon went on and expressed that due to democratic struggle of Quaid e Azam, the nation got ideological identity.

Talking about terrorism, he lauded the role of Pakistani security forces and said after operation Zarb-i-Azb, Raddul Fassad will continue till the elimination of the remaining terrorists.

A cultural parade featuring people and floats from Pakistan’s four provinces Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir was presented during the ceremony.

The parade showcased local cultures of the four provinces, while models of historical regional landmarks were presented on the floats.

Featuring Azad Kashmir during the cultural parade

In his special message for Pakistan Day, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa called upon the entire nation to “pledge to clean up ‘our Pakistan’ from fasaadis.”

Chinese troops participating in military parade

COAS, in his message, said that on March 23, 1940 “we pledged to create Pakistan and we honourably succeeded in creation of our homeland.”

“Let us pledge again today that we shall clean our country from fasaadis,” he said. “We all own Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!”

Saudi troops participate in the march-past

President Mamnoon Hussain, in his message for the day, said that Pakistan has made its mark globally and the nation is proud of its identity.

Earlier, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang extended his warm congratulations and best wishes to the government of Pakistan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the occasion.

Apart from the prestigious parade in capital, a change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Dr Allama Iqbal in Lahore.

A batch of Pakistan Air Force paraded and presented salute to the tomb of Allama Iqbal. Air Commodore Salman Mehboob was chief guest at the ceremony.

Change of guards ceremony at Allama Iqbal’s mausoleum

The day dawned with 31 gun salute in the Federal Capital, and 21 gun salute in the provincial capitals.