Islamabad: The joint services parade to celebrate 81 years of national resolve for a separate homeland with the vision of one nation one destination was held here at the Shakarparian Parade Ground under strict Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The smartly turned out contingents of the joint services including civil paramilitary forces, Pakistan Scouts, military bands among others marched with traditional zeal and fervour.
The paratroopers of the armed forces of Bahrain, Turkey, Palestine, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Turkish military band Mehtar added more to the glory of the Pakistan Day Parade.
The Turkish Military Band played the musical tune of national song Dil Dil Pakistan and bagged acclaim from the participants.
Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of the Naval StaffAdmiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi were in participation at the Parade where Commander of the National Guard of the Kingdom of Bahrain General Sheikh Mohamed Bin lsa Al-Khalifa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Commander of Sri Lankan Army General L H S C Silva , UK’s Commander Strategic Command General Sir Patrick Nicholas Yardley Monrad Sanders were also present as guests at the Parade. Foreign diplomats, civilians and journalists attended the ceremony in large number.
President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest at the occasion. The parade ceremony was formally opened with the recitation of the Holy Quran where the parade commander requested the President to observe the parade formations.
The Parade was held under strict Covid-19 SOPs as mask wearing and use of hand sanitisers was made mandatory and adequate arrangements were made at the venue to ensure compliance along with social distancing.
Following the soldiers, contingents of armoured and mechanised infantry held a march-past. The Al-Khalid Main Battle Tank (MBT), Al Zarrar tanks, a variety of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) as well as howitzer guns were paraded in front of the civil-military leadership. Radar systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), cruise missiles and other modern weaponry equipped with latest military technology were also rolled out.
At the tail end of the parade, a Pakistan Rangers band played national songs on bagpipes while riding camels in unison.
Furthermore, the parade showcased local cultures of the four provinces. Cultural delegates and floats from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were featured during the ceremony.
However, two separate special floats highlighting efforts of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) and Science and Technology were presented showcasing achievements made by scientists during the pandemic.