PLA participation in Pakistan Day parade delights Pakistani leaders, public

Islamabad: A contingent of Chinese military forces participated in the annual Pakistan Day parade held in Islamabad this week much to the delight of the Pakistani leaders and public.

Pakistan had extended an invitation to the friendly People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China to participate in this customary event, alongside military representatives from other allied nations.

This marks the first occasion since 2017 that the Chinese military joined the Pakistan Day parade. In past years, military units from other countries, including Riyadh, have also participated in the parade.

Earlier this month, the PLA confirmed its attendance at the Pakistan Day Parade, announcing their decision to send a delegation to partake in the festivities.

Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, the Chinese Defense Spokesperson, informed the journalists that the PLA’s participation was at the request of the Pakistani Army.

During Saturday’s proceedings, a finely dressed contingent from the PLA took part in the march, representing the tri-services of the Chinese armed forces—commencing with the army, followed by the navy, and concluding with the air force.

Following the Chinese group, a procession of Pakistan Army’s mechanized units, consisting of tanks, self-propelled artillery, and rockets, followed suit.

Noteworthy Chinese military officials were also present at the event.

Pakistani leaders and public cheered the PLA contingent as they paraded.

The ceremony’s guest of honor was Saudi Defence Minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Later, at a special ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Asif Ali Zardari bestowed the Nishan-e-Pakistan award upon the Saudi defense minister.

The ceremony boasted a distinguished attendance list, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, federal ministers, top-ranking military officials, and representatives from the diplomatic corps.

Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was honored with the award in acknowledgment of his exceptional services to Pakistan and its people, his efforts in bolstering defense cooperation, fortifying bilateral relations, and his contributions to peace endeavors within the region.

Reflecting on the Pakistan Day Parade on March 23rd, preparations commenced the previous month, with the Ministry of Defence compiling lists of invitees.

The event itself saw the attendance of government officials, military dignitaries, and foreign guests, with the parade garnering enthusiasm and participation from the public.

The Pakistan Day Parade serves as a tribute to the Lahore Resolution of 1940, a significant moment, which ultimately led to the establishment of Pakistan.

The parade showcases a military march-past, exhibitions of weaponry, cultural performances, and displays representing various provinces. It stands as a patriotic occasion, celebrating Pakistan’s history, accomplishments, and national unity.

Later the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan posted on social media platform: “Chinese People’s Liberation Army Guard of Honor marched at Pakistan Day Parade today (Saturday), paying tribute to the peace and prosperity of Pakistan and the iron-clad China-Pakistan friendship.”