The Day dawned with 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salute in provincial capitals followed by a joint parade of all three forces of the military: Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force, at Shakarparian Parade Avenue in the federal capital early Thursday morning.
A special feature of the parade this year is participation of Tri Services of People’s Liberation Army of China, Saudi Special Force’s contingents and Turkish Jannisary Military band.
Special prayers were also offered in mosques after Fajr prayers for the progress, prosperity and solidarity of the country.
President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest of the event. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif witnessed the parade. Among other dignitaries attended the ceremony was Chief of South African National Defence Force General Solly Zacharia.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman led the flypast of the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy aviation in an F-16 plane.
Troops which took part in the parade included contingents of the Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, 18 Punjab Regiment, 21 Frontier Force Regiment, 10 Northern Light Infantry Regiment, 760 Mujahid Battalion, Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Rangers Punjab, Paratroopers, Pakistan Police (represented by the Islamabad Police), Tri Services Lady Officers, Tri Services Armed Forces Nursing Services, Boy Scouts, Pakistan Girl Guides, Special Services Group (SSG) and President Bodyguards.
Mechanised columns of Armoured Corps, Artillery, Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Strategic Force Command also participated.
In a historic first, Chinese troops took part in the March 23 parade.
A 90-member Chinese delegation had arrived in Pakistan on Monday to participate in the parade.
Saudi troops held a march-past and performed a salute to President of Pakistan.
The Turkish military band participated in Pakistan Day parade for the first time ever.
The band, known as ‘mehtar’ in Turkish, is the oldest military band in the world, dating back to 1299.