Chinese Troops March During Pakistan Day Parade

Saudi Defence Minister Prince Khalid also attended the parade and was later conferred with Nishan-i-Pakistan

Chinese Troops March During Pakistan Day Parade

A contingent of Chinese troops participated in Saturday's annual Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad.

Pakistan had invited China's Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to participate in the annual event along with military contingents from other friendly countries.

This is the first time since 2017 that the Chinese military will participate in the Pakistan Day parade. 

Furthermore, military contingents from other nations, including Riyadh, have previously joined the parade.

Earlier in March, the PLA had confirmed it would send a contingent to Pakistan to participate in the Pakistan Day Parade.

Chinese Defense Spokesperson Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang had told the media that the 
PLA would participate in the parade at the invitation of the Pakistani Army.

On Saturday, a smartly turned out contingent of the PLA participated in the march-past. The 35-member contingent from the PLA's Guard of Honour group represented the tri-services of the Chinese military, starting with the army, followed by the navy, and lastly, the airforce. The Chinese contingent was followed by a column of the Pakistan Army's mechanized units, which included tanks, self-propelled artillery, and rockets.

Senior Chinese military officers were also in attendance. 

Saudi Defence Minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, was the guest of honour for the ceremony. Later, at a special investiture ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Asif Ali Zardari conferred the Nishan-i-Pakistan award on the Saudi defence minister.

The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, federal ministers, military top brass and members of the diplomatic corps.

Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was conferred the award in recognition of his meritorious services for Pakistan and its people, enhancing defence cooperation, strengthening bilateral ties, and contributing to peace efforts in the region.

Preparations for the Pakistan Day parade started last month, with the Ministry of Defence requesting lists of invitees. Saturday's event was attended by high-ranking government and military officials and foreign dignitaries. The parade is also popular among the general public.

Pakistan Day Parade commemorates the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which called for a separate nation for Muslims in British India and led to the creation of a Muslim nation.

The parade features a military march-past, displays of weaponry, cultural performances, and floats representing different provinces. It is a patriotic event that celebrates Pakistan's history, achievements, and national unity.