Armed Forces show military prowess witnessed by Saudi Defence Minister, diplomats

Mar 23, 2024

The Armed Forces on Saturday demonstrated military prowess marking the 85th Pakistan Day on Saturday in the grand joint services parade witnessed by Defence Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Khalid Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud as the guest of honour and members of the diplomatic corps of the friendly countries.

Armed Forces show military prowess witnessed by Saudi Defence Minister, diplomats
The theme for this year’s Pakistan Day Parade was “Long Live Pakistan” that included foreign military contingents of friendly countries of China and Azerbaijan with the latter participating for the first time in the National Day Parade. The Commander in Chief of the Country, President Asif Ali Zardari was the chief guest on the occasion.
The morning began with special prayers for the country and a 31-Gun salute in the federal capital and 21-Gun salute in all the provincial capitals.
The Rangers Exhibition Drill Squad (REDS) using 303 silver coated rifles commenced the parade with enthralling performance followed by the drum solos performed by military bands.
The flag bearing contingent entered the parade venue marching in a unique style practically depicting the Quaid’s motto of faith, unity, and discipline.
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif entered the Parade venue, escorted by the smartly turned-out Core of Military Police contingent led by Major Qasim. The military welcoming committee welcomed the Prime Minister.
The trumpeters ushered the arrival of the President into the Parade Venue who was mounted in the traditional Presidential Chariot escorted by the President’s Guards riding brilliant black, white and brown horses holding spears and swords by its Commandant Colonel Ayaz Ahmed at the left and Adjutant Major Shah Zaman Ali on the right of the Chariot.
President Guards have the honour to be the security contingent of the President, whereas Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah presented them the national flag by his hand which is hoisting at the Quarter Guard of the Battalion. The President Body Guard is the senior most unit of the Armoured Corps, and has this unique feather in his cap of presenting Guard of Honour to the Father of the Nation and all the Heads of the country so far.
The Welcome Committee welcomed the President who was joined by Chief of the Army Staff, General Syed Asim Munir, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Saher Shamshad Mirza, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral, Naveed Ashraf, and the Vice Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hamid Rashid Randhawa and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.
The Presidential Salute was presented to the Chief Guest by the Parade and national anthem was played which was participated by all the spectators and parade contingents.
The parade commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Lieutenant Talat Shehzad of Pakistan Navy. The verses focused on commandments of Allah Almighty while fighting the enemy forces to remain steadfast and obey the Almighty and His Prophet P.B.U.H. and avoid conflict within as it will make them coward and persevere as Allah is with those who observe patience.
Parade Commander Brigadier Shehzad Ali Arshad of 39 Azad Kashmir Regiment sought permission to the President for the review of the Parade.
The Parade review witnessed the marching columns of the Punjab Regiment, infantry’s second most senior Baloch Regiment, Frontier Force (FF) Regiment, Azad Kashmir Regiment, Sindh Regiment, Norther Light Infantry Regiment, Mujahid Regiment, Pakistan Navy, Flag bearing contingent, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) contingent, Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan Rangers Sindh, Pakistan Police contingent comprising KP Police, Gilgit Baltistan Scouts, Tri Services Lady Officers contingent, and the Special Services Group (SSG).
A special recognition to the Pride of Pakistan recipients commenced with the announcement of Christian community’s Johnson Tariq who protected a women in Ichra Bazaar of Lahore from goons, Tanveer Ahmed, a philanthrope who rendered huge donations for mosques, schools, the flood-affected, girls education, health, scholarships for poor students, hepatitis treatment, dialysis facility and establishment of girls college etc, Hindu community’s Rohan Kathwani who in 1.58 mins assembled periodic table at Islamabad Science Festival and broke the previous world record, Sania Alam from Sindh, a record holder in super learning and had received the Brain of the Year Award from the UK’s Brain Trust and was the coach of World Champions and got life time achievement Award from US President Joe Biden, Dr Alia who in 2022 Floods established free medical camps in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab, whereas the UN in recognition to her services conferred Frontline Climate Health Award at COP-28 in 2023, Syeda Maryam Mir, the first women commercial pilot of PIA, hailing from AJK, she had been promoted to first officer rank after completing required flight hours, she has been flying in the national flag carrier, Afshan Afridi a social worker, persons with disabilities (PWDs) rights activist and first disabled women of Darra Adam Khel to receive Henry Viscardi Award of US, member HRCP KP and she had trained over 500 PWD girls and women on leadership qualities, and Najeebullah Mohmand who established two free libraries in erstwhile FATA and rendered huge services for children education and ensured 80% school attendance for children in FATA and established Mishal women skill training centers in the former tribal region.
The fly past by PAF and Navy airmen commenced whereas the masses were informed that the PAF under the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Zaheer Ahmed Babar Sindhu’s leadership has undergone strategic revamp and J-10C induction in the shortest time and its performance in many drills have balanced the power in South Asia with its first shot capability. Moreover, the Fifth-Generation Stealth fighter of JF-17 Thunder induction made the country the first nation in the region to fly it.
The fly past commenced with the precision night attack capability aircraft, three-aircraft formation of Mirages of No. 27 Squadron of Zarar formation lead by Officer Commanding, Wing Commander Muhammad Emad Iqbal, flying at 250 feet above the ground, followed by J-10C cobra formation of No. 15 Squadron led by Officer Commanding Wing Commander, Wajeeh Ullah and it was the first squadron of J-10C and the current PAF Chief also started his career from this squadron.
The nations pride of JF-17 Thunder formation of Black Panthers, No. 16 Squadron entered the parade venue led by Officer Commanding, Wind Commander, Arshad Mushtaq, the Griffins three F-16s of No. 9 Squadron led by Officer Commanding, Wing Commander, Hassan Siddiqui who hunted the Indian SU-30 during Pakistan-India skirmish on February 27th, No.7 Squadron formation of the Legendary Deltas Mirage led by Officer Commanding, Wing Commander, Ahmed Waheed, F-7PG Aircraft of No. 20 Squadron, the Cheetahs, led by Officer Commanding, Wing Commander, Muhammad Mohsin, three F-16s of No. 5 Squadron, the falcons led by Squadron Leader, Saad (it’s the first jet Squadron of the country), three F-16s from No. 29 Squadron, led by Officer Commanding, Wing Commander, Usman Saeed (this squadron hunted down Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan’s Aircraft on Feb 27), J-10C No. 15 squadron the Cobras under Officer Commanding, Wing Commander, Bilal Raza (it’s the first to hunt enemy aircraft in the PAF history) and the force multipliers of PAF, two AWACS comprising Saab 2000 of No. 3 and No. 53 Squadrons, led by C-130 H model of No. 6 Squadron, the eyes and ears of PAF, joined the fly past. The C-130 was led by Officer Commanding, Wing Commander, Ahsan Zafar and Saab 2000 by Wing Commander Omar Safdar and the other second Saab 2000 by Wing Commander Yawar Changhezi. Moreover, the two Long Range maritime Patrol aircraft, PC-3 Orion, the flying destroyers formation led by Captain Yazdan Ali, and the second aircraft led by Commander Waleed Akbar Abbasi, whereas two maritime patrol ATRs of No. 29 antisubmarine squadron of Pakistan Navy aviation was led by Officer Commanding, Commander Usman Butt, whereas the second aircraft by Commander Junaid Mughal which led to the conclusion of the fly past.
The flag bearing contingent after chanting the  of Takbeer took its position before the salutation dais in its unique marching style with blood warming band tunes and the parade commenced led by the Parade Commander Brigadier Irfan Ahmed of 12 Baloch Regiment who was commanding infantry brigade flanked by Parade Second in Command Group Captain Amjad Khan of PAF, who has been serving at PAF Base Lahore, and Parade Staff Officer Lieutenant Commander Mohsin Ali of 37 Creeks Battalion of Pakistan Navy who was serving as Operation officer,
The men and women in uniform and civilians rosed from their seats and extended salute to the flag bearing contingent passing the dais.
The contingent of 39 Punjab Regiment of Janisar Battalion was led by Lieutenant Colonel Zafeel Butt, 15 Baloch Regiment was led by Lieutenant Colonel Noor Ul Wahab, FF Jeedar Regiment led by Lieutenant Colonel Amir Hayat, Azad Kashmir Regiment led by Lieutenant Colonel Mazhar Hussain, 11 Sindh Regiment by Lieutenant Colonel Adnan Bin Aziz, 15 NLI led by Lieutenant Colonel Yasir Adeel Qamar Minhas, 658 Mujahid Regiment by Lieutenant Colonel Syed Wassay Hashmi, Pakistan Navy led by Commander Muddasir Riaz, PAF ground combaters led by Wing Commander Sohail Ahmed Rao, Frontier Corps KP led by Lieutenant Colonel Bilal Uddin Ahmed, Pakistan Rangers Sindh by Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Asim Zaka, Pakistan Police KP by Superintendent of Police Khanzada Khan, Gilgit Baltistan Scouts first time participated were led by Lieutenant Colonel Ahsan Khan Wazir, Tri Services Lady Officers Contingent led by Lieutenant Colonel Seema Bashir, with representatives of Tri Services Captain Ayesha Pervaiz, Lieutenant Commander Nazia Naeem and GD Pilot Squadron Leader Fatima Ali, Armed Forces Nursing Service (AFNS) Lieutenant Salma Abbas, Lieutenant Commander Abida Parveen, Squadron Leader Umaira Safeer, Sub Inspector Uzma Shehzad of Punjab Ranger, Sub Inspector Areej Zahra of Punjab Police, Assistant Director, Sunila of Airport Security Force and Assistant Director, Ambar Mumtaz of Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).
The Tri-Services Band led by Subedar Muhammad Afzal, Pakistan Navy by Chief Warrant Officer Jehangir Ahmed, and PAF by Warrant Officer Tahir Arshad. The band proved its mettle globally whereas the GHQ Military Band was staged on 14th August 1993 and 19 different instruments were played in the band blowing enthusiastic tones in this parade.
The SSG contingent of 2 Commando Regiment Rhabar Battalion entered the venue in its traditional march which bagged standing ovation by the spectators led by Lieutenant Colonel Syed Usman Tayyab flanked by Lt Commander Wamiq Shehzad of Pakistan Navy and Squadron Leader Kashif Hayat of PAF.
The Special Contingents of Friendly Countries comprised of the victorious marching columns of Azerbaijan Army and the military band, and the Peoples Liberation Army of China Tri-Services Contingent with the slogan of Long Live China Pakistan Friendship from PLA Guard of Honour Regiment marched before the dais.
The Mechanized Columns March started with the pride of Pakistan Army, led by Lieutenant Colonel Muhmmad Irfan Khan Kundi of 47 cavalry, most modern Haider Tank that was recently inducted into Pakistan Army and was one of the world’s most advanced tanks and depicts unique prove of Pak-China friendship. Followed by it, Al-Khalid Tank, the first automatic tank of Pakistan led by Major Jawaad Zahoor Qadri from 40 Sindh Harsh Regiment, the modern tank of present times VT-4 Tank of 47 Cavalry and Pakistan-made M113-P armoured personal carrier (APC) led by Lieutenant Colonel Azam Khitab Quershi of 14 FF Regiment 912, HIT Taxila-made Baaz APC, Italian Origin APC BCC-I and TOW weapon systems M113PA2 APC, whereas Lieutenant Colonel Irfan Mehmood Awan led the Artillery’s contingent comprising 23km range 155 mm Howitzer M109A5 guns, 53km range 155 mm SH15 gun, 120km range A-100 rocket, locally made 140km and 400 km range Fatah-I and Fatah-II guided multiple launch rocket systems which were most modern tech based rockets.
Army Air Defence contingent led by Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Ali Arif of 161 Radar Control Gun Air Defence, Negah Buland Regiment that comprised of most modern radars, missiles, radar control guns and had the honour to destroy 71 army fighter jets.
The FM-6 DW 18, FM-19 weapon system of 15 km range, LY-80 system of 70 km range and pride of Army Air Defence HQ9P weapon system also passed by the dais.
The PAF Sherdil 789 acrobats including twister, Sherdil Break, the Bombers splitting in six different directions, and other maneuvers left the Parade spectators spellbound with rainbow of colours spilled all over the venue.
The cultural floats of the provinces presented the cultural heritage of the country showcasing history, music, and colorful lifestyle. The float show started from AJK leading the traditional sword dance. The float comprised of models of Hazarat Saen Saheli Sarkar’s Durbar of Muzzaffarbad that showed the spiritual and religious ethos, Leepa Valley portrait, Syed Ali Geelani’s special banner paying tribute to his indelible services for Kashmir cause, followed by Balochistan’s cultural float led by traditional Balochi dance with the models of University of Balochistan, Marri Fort Kalat one of the famous global heritage site, the Gilgit Baltistan Float depicted the land of mesmerizing beauty and jewel of Pakistan, including Models of Karakoram University, Khunjerab Pass, K-2 Basecamp and Saspolo Apple, the worlds unique taste, Sarfaranga Desert, traditional music on float was also played, Khyber Pakhtunhkwa float lead the cultural dance of KP and it had models of University of Peshawar, Swat valley’s Falak Sar peak model, Khyber Pass, Peshawar’s Sethi House, Kelash Valley of Chitral model and Kelashi culture, Punjab’s cultural float depicted Baradari of Lahore, Etchison College models, showing cultural heritage preservation, Wagah Border Bab e Azadi model, traditional dance performance, cultural household and wedding depiction was also part of the float, and the Sindh’s cultural float included models of Jehangiri Kothari Parade 1919, Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Durbar, Thermal Power Plant Jamshoro, Gambit Institute of Medical Sciences and traditional Sindhi autak.
The SSG skydivers’ freefall was participated by the Pakistan Army Shahbaz, Pakistan Navy Sea Eagle, and PAF Shahpar teams. The pathfinders made special arrangements for the jumpers safe landing who were freefalling at a speed of 190-280 km per hour speed.
The jumpers spilled rainbow colors in the air above the Parade venue. Captain Shumail Rehman of SSG landed first with SSG flag right in front of the target, followed by Havaldar Tassaduq Hussain Bangash, Naik Muhammad Nasir, Major Muhammad Sajjad Utmankhail, Squadron Leader Naveed Ahmed with PAF flag landed, Chief Warrant officer Sagid Nazir, Chief Warrant Officer Abdul Ghaffar, Commander Ikram Ullah Wattoo landed with Pakistan Navy flag, Lieutenant Commander Dilawar Hussain, and Petty Officer Yasir Gill made impressive landing, However, Commanding Officer of Parachute Training School Colonel Muhammad Imran landed with Pakistan Army flag, whereas the General Officer Commanding, SSG Major General Adil Rehmani led the freefall jump and presented national flag to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister held shake hands with the team.
The school students and artist hailing from the all the federating units performed the special Pakistan Day 2024 national song “Pochay Jo Naam Koi Tum Pakistan Batanaa”.
The song was written and composed by Khawja Danish and performed by all the singers of all the provinces including Sanam Marvi of Sindh, Neeta Shah Baig from Gilgit Baltistan, Zeek Afridi from KP, Raisa Raisani Balcohitan, Basit Malik from AJK, and Muhammad Bilal from Punjab.
The 29 Military Police contingent escorted the President out of the Parade Venue led by Captain Muhammad Hamza.