Islamabad, March 23: The 79th Pakistan Day was celebrated across the country on Saturday with traditional zeal and fervour.
The day began with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad while provincial capitals marked the celebration with 21-gun salutes. The change-of-guards ceremony was held at the mausoleum of poet and politician, Allama Iqbal, in Lahore, Dawn news reported.
Pakistan Air Force troops took over guard duty at Iqbal’s mausoleum where Air Commodore Rizwan Malik was the chief guest.
The Pakistan Day military parade will be held at Parade Ground near the Shakarparian hills in Islamabad to mark the day.
The parade will be attended by the civil and military leadership as well as foreign dignitaries. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who arrived on a three-day visit to Pakistan on Thursday, will also attend as the guest of honour.
According to Radio Pakistan, an award ceremony will also be held at the President House in the evening, where about 171 people, including civilians and foreign citizens will be awarded for achievements in various fields including science and technology, by President Arif Alvi.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Alvi, in separate messages , stressed the “need to achieve the goal of true Islamic welfare state as envisaged by Muhammad Ali Jinnah”.
Khan said the government was determined to establish a society where every person can contribute towards socio-economic development to the best of his ability.
President Alvi said that Pakistan has overcome the challenges of extremism and terrorism but acknowledged the country was yet to make efforts for excelling on social and economic fronts.
Pakistan Day commemorates the passing of the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940, when the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate nation for the Muslims of the British Indian Empire.