Armed forces dis­play mil­i­tary might on Pak­istan Day

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

The na­tion com­menced cel­e­bra­tions for 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 is the joint mil­i­tary pa­rade which was held at the Pa­rade Ground near the Shakarpar­ian hills in Is­lam­abad.

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif, Pres­i­dent Mam­noon Hus­sain, Chief of Army Staff Gen­eral Ra­heel Sharif, Chief of Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral Mo­ham­mad Zakaullah and De­fence Min­is­ter Khawaja Asif wit­nessed the pa­rade, and were later joined by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Mar­shal So­hail Aman on the podium.

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.

The divers jumped from 10,000 feet. Para­troop­ers also have the ca­pa­bil­ity to jump from a height of 25,000 feet, at any time of the day. The na­tional flag was car­ried to the ground by Gen­eral Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing (GOC) SSG Ma­jor Gen Tahir Hus­sain Bhutta, who pre­sented the flag to Pres­i­dent Mam­noon Hus­sain. The pres­i­dent was also in­tro­duced to the para­troop­ers by GOC SSG. Mul­ti­ple air­craft be­long­ing to Army Avi­a­tion and Pak­istan Air Force per­formed a fly-past and demon­strated aer­o­batic per­for­mances for the au­di­ence present. 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.

Army Avi­a­tion's fly past was fol­lowed by an aer­o­batic per­for­mance from PAF's Sherdils, JF17 Thun­der and a F-16 fighter from the sto­ried No.9 Squadron of the PAF.

Con­tin­gents of the Pak­istan Army, Pak­istan Air Force, Pak­istan Navy, Fron­tier Corps and Pak­istan Rangers held a march-past and per­formed a salute to Pres­i­dent of Pak­istan.

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, tris­er­vice 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, Camel Band and Pres­i­dent's body guards.

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

Pres­i­dent Mam­noon Hus­sain de­liv­ered a speech to the par­tic­i­pants of the pa­rade in which he lauded Pak­istan Army's sac­ri­fices and re­peated that Op­er­a­tion Zarb-i-Azb, the anti-ter­ror op­er­a­tion started af­ter the Karachi air­port at­tack, will not be stopped un­til the elim­i­na­tion of last ter­ror­ist from Pak­istani soil.

He re­it­er­ated the coun­try's stance that Pak­istan's nu­clear stock­pile is for coun­try's safety and it does not in­tend to go to war with any coun­try un­less forced to take such a route.

"We are a peace­ful na­tion and have never par­tic­i­pated in any arms race," the pres­i­dent said. "This pa­rade shows our re­solve to fight all the en­e­mies of our beloved coun­try. This dis­play of weaponry and skills shows that our forces are next to none in brav­ery, courage and val­our," said the pres­i­dent. The pres­i­dent said many a de­trac­tors pre­dicted a bleak fu­ture of Pak­istan but to­day, the whole world recog­nises Pak­istan as a re­al­ity.

"Kash­mir is our jugu­lar vein and we will con­tinue our moral, political and diplo­matic sup­port for our Kash­miri brethren," he said.

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