Pakistani soldiers march past during the military parade to mark Pakistan's National Day in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan on March 23, 2018. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)
ISLAMABAD, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan celebrated the 78th Republic Day on Friday with traditional zeal and fervor, local media reported.
The Pakistan Day is celebrated to mark the Lahore Resolution, also known as Pakistan Resolution, which was passed on March 23, 1940, as a major milestone in the subcontinent's Muslim struggle for an independent state.
The day was dawn with 31-gun salute in the capital of Islamabad and 21-gun salute in provincial capitals.
The main feature of the day was the military parade in Shakarparian area that lies on a low hill between Islamabad and Rawalpindi city.
Troops from various units and formations of the armed forces including Army, Navy and Air Force took part in the parade.
Contingents from the armed forces of Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan also participated in the parade. It is the first time that a contingent from the UAE military paraded along with Pakistan armed forces.
On the occasion, the Pakistani military displayed an inventory of modern weapons and arsenal, including tanks, jets, drones and other weapon systems in the parade. Cultural floats of the nation's four provinces also gave a color to the parade.
Fighter jets from the army aviation, including F-16 and JF-17 Thunder, and military gunship helicopters presented an air display over the parade ground, while paratroopers jumping out of airplanes was another highlight.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was the guest of honor at the event whereas Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest of the occasion.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan also witnessed the parade.
Thousands of people, including diplomats from several countries, witnessed the parade amid tight security in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Earlier in the day, special prayers were offered in mosques for the progress, prosperity and solidarity of Pakistan and the national flag was hoisted high on major government and private buildings across the country.
Rallies, peace walks, seminars, symposiums and conferences were held in different cities where speakers discussed the role of Pakistan Resolution in the creation of Pakistan. The government also announced a public holiday to mark the day.