Pakistan Day is being celebrated across the country with traditional zeal and fervour. The day dawned with a thirty-one-gun salute in Islamabad and twenty-one-gun salutes in Pakistan’s four provincial capitals.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is guest of honour at a military parade being held in the capital, Islamabad.
Contingents of the three armed services are performing a march-past. Pakistan Air Force war planes joined in, carrying out a fly-past over the parade. Floats depicting Pakistan’s various cultures are also part of the parade.
The event is being attended by Pakistan’s top leadership and a large number of foreign dignitaries. Earlier, President Arif Alvi, in an address, reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace and stability. He lauded the contribution of the armed forces towards Pakistan’s progress. Alvi cited the recent confrontation with India as an example of Pakistan’s military proficiency. He criticized India for the allegations it leveled against Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Alvi said that Pakistan respects the sovereignty of all countries. But he said that its desire for peace should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness
Meanwhile, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended Pakistan Day greetings, in a message to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan welcomed Modi’s message. He said that the time has come to begin a comprehensive dialogue with India on all issues, especially Kashmir. Later, President Alvi will confer civil awards on individuals for their achievements in different fields of science and the arts.
One hundred and seventy-one personalities, including some foreigners, have been selected for the awards. Pakistan Day celebrates the day in 1940 on which India’s Muslims vowed to struggle for an independent homeland.