Islamabad military parade honors national day of Pakistan
Pakistan on Saturday marked its national day with celebrations in major cities, including the capital Islamabad.
The day was highlighted by a celebratory military parade held in Islamabad, with visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as the guest of honor.
Top civil and military leaders, and foreign leaders, witnessed the parade, including President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov, Bahraini National Guard Commander Lt. Gen. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the service chiefs of Pakistan's armed forces, foreign diplomats, and thousands of members of the public.
Pakistan Day commemorates the passage of the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940, during the All-India Muslim League meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore, in which the Muslim leaders of the sub-continent set the agenda of a separate homeland for Muslims.
On March 23, 1956, the country also adopted its first constitution, making Pakistan the world's first Islamic republic.
The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the capital Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in all four provincial capitals. Special prayers were also offered in mosques for the country's progress and prosperity.
"Today is a historic day in our history, we reaffirm our desires for peace in the region, but our desire for peace should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness," said Alvi while addressing the military parade.
Referring to the recent tension with India, Alvi suggested that India's leadership should focus on providing health, education, and employment rather than war.
"Pakistan is a reality and India will have to accept it. Our desire for peace should not be mistaken for a sign of weakness, as any misadventure would be very dangerous for the region's peace and stability," he warned
He also thanked friendly countries -- Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and Sri Lanka -- for their local representative attending the celebrations.
Also speaking at the event, Khan said that on this historic day his nation would not forget the Kashmiri people and their sacrifices, saying they "have long been victims of Indian state terrorism and forced to lead a life of misery."
Representatives of Pakistan's army, Rangers, Frontier Corps, and Frontier Constabulary also took part in the parade.
Spectators were amazed by the armed forces' skills during displays of paratroopers parachuting from helicopters and landing on target as well as daring maneuvers by air force fighter jets.