ISLAMABAD, March 19 (Xinhua) -- A contingent of the guard of honor of the three services of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Sunday participated in a rehearsal of Pakistan's 77th national day parade in the country's capital of Islamabad.
The 90-member contingent has come to Pakistan to feature in the parade on the invitation of the Pakistani side.
The final parade will be held on March 23 at Shakarparian Parade Ground in Islamabad.
The parade is being organized by joint staff headquarters, which oversees the three armed forces of Pakistan.
The Pakistan Day commemorates March 23, 1940 when a resolution was passed in Lahore, now Pakistan's eastern city, to demand a separate homeland for the Muslims of the British Indian Empire. Seven years after the resolution was passed, the British Indian Empire was divided into two states, India and Pakistan.
During the rehearsal, Pakistani armed forces parade was followed by the exhibition of military hardware, cultural floats and air show.
According to a handout released by the Pakistan army's mouthpiece Inter Services Public Relations, the guard of honor of the three services of the PLA is participating in any parade in Pakistan for the first time.
Talking to media on the occasion, head of the Chinese contingent Major General Li Jianbo said "We selected the best personnel and trained them hard for the Pakistan Day parade. We have come here to convey a message of friendship to Pakistan on behalf of the Chinese people and the Chinese army. We sincerely hope that Pakistan will progress day by day and its army will be stronger and stronger."
The Pakistan Day parade remained suspended for a period of eight years until it was restarted in 2015 after Pakistan visibly achieved successes against militancy in the country. Special security measures have been put in place in Islamabad and its neighboring garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Saudi Special Force's contingents and Turkish Janissary Military Band are also participating in the parade.