Pakistan Day military parade under way in Islamabad

Pakistan Day is being celebrated across the country today (Saturday) with traditional zeal and fervour.
A joint military parade is currently under way at Parade Ground in Islamabad.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is on a three-day visit to the country, is the guest of honour at the parade.
Top civil-military leadership, including President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and the chiefs of Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force are witnessing the parade.
The Bahraini army chief, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, and federal minister, including Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, are also in attendance.
After the guests assembled on the stage, the parade began with the national anthem which was followed by a recitation of the Holy Quran.
Parade Commander Brigadier Naseem Anwar then requested the president to witness the parade.
Contingents of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy will hold a march-past.
Various aeroplanes belonging to Army Aviation and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) are scheduled to demonstrate aerobatic feats for the audience. Similarly, combat and attack helicopters, as well as skydivers of airborne units from the three armed forces, will also showcase their skills.
The parade will also showcase cultures of all the four provinces.
Cultural delegates and floats from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir will feature during the ceremony.
Some government officials from Oman will also attend the Pakistan Day ceremony.
Various contingents from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Turkey will participate in the Parade.
Gun salutes, change of guards ceremonies in Karachi, Lahore
The day began with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad while provincial capitals — including Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, and Peshawar — welcomed the day with 21-gun salutes.
The change-of-guards ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Dr Allama Iqbal in Lahore and Quaid’s mausoleum in Karachi.
Special prayers were offered in mosques after Fajr prayers for the progress and prosperity of the country, while the national flag was hoisted on all major government buildings.
An investiture ceremony will also be held at the President House in the evening where Dr Alvi will confer civil awards on individuals demonstrating feats in different fields of science and arts. In all, 171 personalities, including some foreigners, have been selected for this year’s awards.
Pakistan Day is observed on March 23 every year to commemorate the passage of Lahore Resolution on this day, in 1940, when the Muslims of the subcontinent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.
Pakistan missions abroad as well as different organizations and societies will also arrange functions and ceremonies to commemorate the Pakistan Day and inculcate a spirit for the progress, prosperity, and defence of the country.