Dubai: A large number of Pakistani expatriates gathered at diplomatic missions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to mark the 77th Pakistan Day that pays tribute to father of the nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah and those who sacrificed their lives for a separate homeland for Muslims.
Pakistan Day commemorates the passing of the Lahore Resolution, when a separate nation for the Muslims of The British Indian Empire was demanded on March 23, 1940.
Pakistan Ambassador to UAE Moazzam Ahmed Khan hoisted the flag at the embassy early on Thursday morning in the presence of large number of community members.
Present were school children who sang national songs. National Day messages of president and the prime minister of Pakistan were read out.
On the occasion, Khan recalled the struggle of Muslims of subcontinent for a separate state and also paid tribute to the sacrifices made for the independence of Muslims of the subcontinent.
In Dubai, Brigadier (retired) Jawed Hassan hoisted the flag in the presence of a large number of community members from Dubai and Northern Emirates.
He said Pakistanis residing in the UAE were a valuable asset for the country and have been making a tremendous contribution to Pakistan’s economy through their remittances.
The community has planned week-long celebrations to mark the day with main celebrations being carried out at the embassy and consulate.
In Pakistan, the nation is celebrating Pakistan Day with national zeal and fervour.
The nation commenced celebrations for 77th Pakistan Day with a pledge to make the country stronger by wiping out terrorism and achieving sustainable economic growth and political stability.
The highlight of the day is the joint military parade which was held at the Parade Ground near Shakarparian hills in Islamabad. President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest of the event.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also witnessed the parade.
Chinese and Saudi troops and a Turkish military band are also participating in the parade.
Chinese troops join Pakistan Day parade
Chinese, Saudi and Turkish troops for the first time joined the Pakistan Day parade on Thursday, in a sign of deepening ties.
Soldiers from Saudi Arabia also joined the parade, as did a military band from Turkey, another largely Muslim nation that has strengthened ties with the nuclear-armed country in recent years.
World leaders extend felicitations
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier of State Council Li Keqiang said that Pakistanis have properly responded to different kinds of challenges and made new achievements in maintaining national security, stability and economic development.
French president Francois Hollande and Indian president Pranab Mukherjee extended their greetings and felicitations to the government and people. Further, US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale said his country will continue to work with the country for shared interests in stability, interfaith harmony and development.
Pakistan in 2015, held its first Pakistan Day parade after a hiatus of seven years. The display of pageantry aimed at showing the country has the upper hand in the fight against terrorists as the nation reeled from the worst militant attack in its history as 142 children were killed in an army-run school in Peshawar.
The annual Pakistan Day parade was last held in 2008 before authorities abandoned it because of fears it could be targeted as militants increased their attacks on the military.