Pakistan stages Republic Day parade after seven years

Islamabad: A military parade to celebrate Pakistan’s Republic Day was held here on Monday after a gap of seven years.

Also known as Pakistan Day, it is observed to commemorate the passage of the Lahore Resolution of 1940, now called the Pakistan Resolution, on March 23, 1940 at the ground in Lahore where the Minar-e-Pakistan now stands.

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The resolution called for the creation of independent states for Muslims in north-western and eastern British India.

The last parade took place in Islamabad in 2008, but was discontinued owing to security concerns, Dawn online reported.

Personnel from all the three services — the army, navy and air force – participated in the parade.

This time the event took place at the new Parade Ground. Earlier it used to be held on Parade Avenue in front of Parliament House and before that, at the Race Course in Rawalpindi.

As per tradition, a change of guard took place at the mausoleums of poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, followed by wreaths being laid.

The national flag was hoisted atop main public and private buildings throughout the country as well as at all Pakistani missions abroad.

Cellphone and wireless Internet services remained suspended as part of security measures in Islamabad.

Many activities, including wedding ceremonies, fireworks displays, celebratory firing, kite-flying and pigeon-flying were also banned in the capital.

Strict checking was carried out at all entry/exit points of Islamabad.

A 31-gun salute was fired before sunrise to commemorate Pakistan Day in Islamabad and also in all the provincial capitals.