Pakistan Day Parade: A Sign of Determination
25 March, 2015
By Zaheerul Hassan
After seven years of the gap a joint Armed Forces Parade held on Pakistan Day at Islamabad. Last parade was held on 23 March 2008 during the tenure of General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf when he was holding the office as a civilian president. Troops, of three forces, strategic division, civil armed forces and departments participated in the parade. Here, I would like to pay special thanks to the government and Chiefs of armed forces for providing us a chance to celebrate scared occasion while sitting in front of screen in Lahore. Like me, many people must have witnessed this event along with their families in their respective cities. The parade marks the day when Lahore Resolution was passed in 1940, calling for a separate homeland for Muslims of India.
Witnessing parade whether in ground or while sitting in front of TV screen not only boost national morale and but also being considered in public circle as a sign of determination against our adversary and terrorism. President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and armed forces chiefs, were present in the parade ground of pleasant Islamabad. President Hussain also paid tribute to the soldiers fighting militants in the restive northwest. He called them his sons and pledging to go to the front line to hug them.
At the same time holding such a wonderful parade in a tight security environment, conveyed message across the world that Pakistan is a formidable state and is fully prepared to defeat any type of internal or external threat under any kind of circumstances.
In this parade both modern and traditional military arsenal were displayed, from nuclear-capable missiles and home-made armed Burraq drone to a camel-mounted musical band. Many other foreign dignities, neighbouring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also communicated congratulation. At this occasion Modi conveyed, “It is my firm conviction that all outstanding issues can be resolved through bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror & violence”.
Here, I would suggest to Indian Prime Minister to ask his prime intelligence agency to wrap up detachments from all along Afghan border , acknowledge Kashmiris’ rights of self-determination and fomenting terrorism in Baluchistan, FATA and Kashmir. Thus, taking stated steps would automatically create peaceful environment to settle burning Kashmir Issue, Siachin Crisis and water problems. Moreover, resolving such like issues with the neighbor will bring prosperity help India to rule the region.
Nevertheless, credit goes to Army chief General Raheel Sharif who in consultation with the political establishment and other sister forces has taken such a bold decision of holding Parade after the gap of seven years. Earlier, he also took bold steps to eliminate terrorism while launching joint military offensive “Operation Zarb-e-Azb” against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The forces under his dynamic command are also ready to clean Karachi and other parts of the country from militancy.
Moreover, the Parade event was conducted just after TTP gunmen massacred more than 150 people, most of them children, at a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, an atrocity that shocked even conflict-weary Pakistan. On Pak Day Parade, President too demonstrated solidarity while addressing the parents of school children and said, “I also salute the innocent martyrs of the Army Public School Peshawar, who by sacrificing their lives made it clear to the enemy that this nation cannot be defeated,” Parade proven too be the great patriotic show of armed forces in support of nation and victims of terrorism.
Somehow, there are people like Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy while commenting on the Parade in a talk show on leading electronic channel” the Dawn” tried to undermine the weightage of holding Pakistan Day Parade. In fact Mr. Hoodbhoy is notorious for his negative critiques over nuclear programme, armed forces and progressive Pakistan. According to credible sources in 2013, he had been expelled from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) for propagating anti-Islamic thoughts and used to be recognized as Atheist among the students and staff. His activities of routine life are quite objectionable. He always tried to spread negativity and confusing about peace nuclear programme of Pakistan. He must be mindful now that nation is quite aware of his behavior towards national interests.
Anyhow, during Pakistan Day Parade fly past of JF-17, F-16 and other aircrafts translated excellent skill of PAF pilots. It is worth mentioning here that Thunder fighters are locally produced in cooperation with close ally China. Pakistan while displaying Nuclear-capable Nasr and Shaheen missiles also gave message to India that she is capable to defend its territory. These missiles are capable to carry nuclear warhead up to 1,500 kilometers (900 miles). Pakistan armed forces have also Unmanned Aerial Vehicle which can fly deep inside for intelligence gathering and carry missile with the ability to engage moving and static targets.
Concluding I would say that Pakistan Day Parade is a sign of determination for the nation and should continue in future too. However, there is need to construct the venue of the parade.
The writer can be approached through zameer36@gmail.