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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said that Pakistan was desirous of peace for common prosperity in the region but at the same time he maintained in case of any misadventure, the country was capable of thwarting it with full forces but its intention must not be misconstrued as weakness.
“Our good intentions should not be misconstrued as weakness. In case of any misadventure, Pakistan is capable of thwarting it with full force,” the president said while addressing Pakistan Day Joint Services Parade at the Parade Avenue.
Prime Minister Imran Khan could not attend the ceremony after he was tested positive for coronavirus five days back. President Alvi lauded the armed forces for their valour and bravery in defending the frontiers of the country and rendering immense sacrifices for the safety of the nation.
He observed that the armed forces remained ever-ready in dealing with the challenges, might it be terrorism, natural calamities or disasters. “From barren deserts to the high-altitude Siachen and the vast skies to the depth of oceans, our armed forces are acting as a strong defence line,” he said.
President Alvi said Pakistan believed in promoting cooperation in South Asia, which was already facing hindrance in development due to mutual conflicts and discords. “The goal of national and regional development can only be achieved in the environment of peace and by refraining from all kinds of aggression and exploitation,” he stressed. He vowed that Pakistan would continue to stand with the Kashmiris in their struggle for the right to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Charter and its Security Council resolutions. “The peace in South Asia is linked with the resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said while quoting the great Quaid’s statement that Kashmir was Pakistan’s jugular vein. He also appealed to friendly countries to take notice of the situation in the IIOJ&K, owing urgency in view of the human rights deterioration in the Valley.
President Alvi said Pakistan enjoyed very close and friendly relations with China and intended to further strengthen the ties in fields of defence, economy and diplomacy. On the situation in Afghanistan, he said Pakistan would continue to play its role in the restoration of sustainable peace in the neighbouring country.
As regards relations with Central Asia, he said, Pakistan was desirous of strengthening historic, cultural and friendly relations for prosperity and development. The president felicitated the nation on Pakistan Day, saying the occasion was a reminder to renew the pledges of religious, cultural and fundamental freedoms. He said the comprehensive Pakistan Resolution of 1940 set a guiding principle for the Muslims of the Sub-continent to achieve the goal of a separate homeland under the untiring struggle of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the vision of Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
He said that nation’s journey, commencing in 1947 in difficult situations, was moving ahead with remarkable success in the fields of education, economy, politics and defence.
President Alvi emphasised maintaining unity among the Muslim countries by setting aside their differences to strongly counter Islamophobia. He termed the role of Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) significant in that regard.
To mark Pakistan Day in its true spirit, he said, it was important to keep the national interests supreme and ensure the sanctity of law. “We need to shun our differences and get united as a single nation to work towards the betterment of our country,” he said.
President Alvi said gaining capabilities in the scientifically advanced field such as artificial intelligence would help the young generation meet the challenges of the contemporary world.
He expressed satisfaction that the scientists in Pakistan were rendering their services efficiently and making the country self-reliant in defence production.
He urged the nation to remain steadfast as a ‘One Nation, One Destiny’ to make Pakistan prosperous, reliving the spirit and passion of the Pakistan Movement seven decades ago that led to the creation of homeland.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces displayed their professionalism, military prowess and capability of deterrence against threats to country’s security at the spectacular Pakistan Day Joint Services Parade held at the Parade Avenue here on Thursday.
The highlights of the event, which was delayed by two days due to inclement weather on March 23, were fly past by aircraft and helicopters of three services, enthralling separate solo performances by JF-17 Thunder and a jet fighter of ‘SOLOTURK’ aerobatic team of the Turkish Air Force, aerobatics by a team of Karakorum-8P of renowned Sherdils squadron of the Pakistan Air Forces and free fall from C-130 by Commandos of three services of the country and sky divers coming friendly countries like Turkey, Bahrain, Palestine, Kuwait and Sri Lanka.
A new addition to the mega national event was 21-gun salute given to the flags carrier contingent.
The impressive ceremony started with the fly past of fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy led by Air Chief Zaheer Ahmad Babar Sidhu presenting salute to the chief guest President Arif Alvi.
Earlier, President Arif Alvi arrived at the venue in a traditional buggy escorted by the President’s Bodyguards amid calls of bugles. Later, on board a military jeep of Parade Commander, Brig. Azhar Yaseen, the president reviewed the parade.
On arrival at the venue, the president was received by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Syed Noman Ali.
Formations of fighter jets including F-16, JF 17, Mirage, AWACs. C-130, P-3C Orion and helicopters participated in the fly past.
Contingents of Pakistan Army, Navy, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Special Services Groups (SSGs), Frontier Corps, Rangers, and Islamabad police, Frontier Constabulary, Airport Security Force (ASF) and Boys Scouts marched past the dais presenting salute to the chief guest.
Mechanised columns including tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, air defense system, Radars, indigenously built UAVs and a series short and long range missiles Ra'ad, Nasr, Babr, Ghaznavi and Shaheen by the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) were showcased on the occasion.
Engineering corps presented its state of the art equipment.
Amidst applause by the audience, JF-17 and formations of Sherdils presented breathtaking aerobatics spreading range of colours in the skies.
As a mark of strong bonds between Pakistan and Turkey, a Turkish fighter jet presented a whole range of dazzling maneuvers. A Turkish military band on the occasion presented different tunes including that of Dil Dil Pakistan, Jaan Jaan Pakistan.
Floats depicted culture of Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and the four provinces. The floats of Ministry of Science and technology and the frontline healthcare workers against COVID-19 were also part of the parade.
Dhol party presented different colours of the country's diverse culture.
Apart from commandos of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and PAF, the sky divers of the forces including the paratroopers of Bahrain, Iraq, Palestine, Sri Lanka and Turkey exhibited free fall, carrying national flags and their services.
The president later visited an enclosure titled ‘Pride of Pakistan’ enclosure and met with those personalities who have made outstanding contributions in different fields. Different national songs were also presented on the occasion from the float of ISPR.
The mega event organised as per the COVID-19 related SOPs was attended amongst others by the federal ministers, parliamentarians, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three services chiefs. Face masks were provided to all those who witnessed the parade. Temperature guns were used to check symptoms. Hand sanitizers were provided at entry gates. Social distancing was ensured while placing the chairs
Located at the foothills of Margalla Hills, Shakarparian Parade Ground is one of the most beautiful parade ground of the world.
The ground was specially decorated for the occasion. Digital screens were installed for the first time to show various segments.
Turkish solo and military band and paratroopers of Bahrain, Palestine, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Turkey specially participated in the parade. Commander Bahrain National Guard, General Sheikh Isa Bin Khalifa, Commander UK strategic command Sir Patrick Sanders and Chief of defence and Commander Sri Lankan Army were dignitaries who witnessed the parade.
The script also paid tribute to those civilians who laid life in war against terrorism like Itezaz Hasan of Hangu. One Nation and One Destiny was theme of this parade which was visible in various colours of parade.
Tribute was paid to youngest pellet guns victims (18 months old) Hiba Nisar and Asifa Bano of Bakarwal community of Kathoa IIOJK who was raped and brutally murdered. Tribute was paid to Nawab Siraj Raisani, Haroon Blour and Shuja Khanzada as symbol of courage and resolve. The one of highlight was inclusion of police, Rangers, ANF and ASF women officers in lady contingent. The narrative of script was very interesting and powerful and included historical references. Each and every thing was very well described with passion and excellent narration.
Pride of Pakistan enclosure was the most popular and historic inclusion. First time ever on Pakistan Day such high achievers at national level were given impressive tribute and acknowledgement.
Pride of Pakistan enclosure included people who shown excellence in their respective fields. A woman in Karachi providing meals for only Rs3so none should sleep hungry since 19 years. First female member of Bomb Disposal Squad from KP who despite her mother stopped her joining police not only joined but also joined Bomb Disposal Squad.
Ali Gohar from Balochistan, who lost his both hands due to electric shock, painting with his feet. A 9 years old Natalia Najam who made to Guinness Book of World Record beating and Indian academician while arranging periodic table in fastest time.
Emanuel Guddo, a photo journalist from Mirpur, Sindh who is showing beauty of Sind through pics. Zara Naeem who scored first position in ACCA out of 179 countries.
Farzana Bibi who is victim of polio but she is campaigning for polio so no other child may suffer. The script of commentary was totally new and included powerful history and poetry particularly of Iqbal.
The soft image of Pakistan on various floats was visible. Dhol party representing various dhol of all federating units was spectacular show where women dhol beaters were very popular part and the dhol party depicted folk dance of various federating units in a very beautiful manner.
Meanwhile, the officers and sailors of Pakistan Navy (PN) participated in the Joint Services Parade with zeal and zest here on Thursday.
Smartly clad and agile contingent of Pakistan Navy, led by Commander Muhammad Shahid lqbal, PN was part of the Joint Services Parade. Pakistan Navy contingent included Lady Officers, Special Services Group (Navy) and PN Band. The hallmark of Pakistan Navy contingent includes participation of first Pakistani Sikh Naval officer Lt Pawan Singh leading the PN squad.
Pakistan Navy lady officers’ squad was led by Lt Cdr Sana Firdos.
In addition, formations of Pakistan Navy aviation assets including Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P3C Orion, led by Capt Saleem Nasir PN, ATRs, led by Capt Syed Talat Hussain PN, Seaking helicopters, led by Capt Sher Wali Khan PN and Z-9EC helicopters led by Cdr Talha Mateen, participated in impressive fly past at the parade venue.
The Pakistan Navy UAV was also displayed during the parade. Pakistan Navy Sea Eagle team, led by Commander Muhammad Abrar Younis PN, Special Services Group (Navy) was part of Tri Services Sky Diving Team. The Sea Eagle Team exhibited various free-fall jump techniques including Sky maneuvers and landing at targets with precise accuracy.