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President Mamnoon Hussain has expressed the resolve to free the country from terrorism, militancy, ethnicity and sectarianism in order to ensure a secure, peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.

He was addressing the Pakistan Day Parade at Shakarparian Parade Avenue in Islamabad today.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Rashad Mahmoud and the three services chiefs were also present on the occasion.

The President, who was chief guest, said our destination is to make Pakistan a country which is free of all prejudices.

Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan Day parade provides an excellent opportunity to pay tributes to the elders who waged a relentless struggle for the creation of homeland.

He said the nation should follow the footsteps of their elders to steer the country out of all challenges and turn Pakistan into a great nation.  

Paying tributes to the martyrs, the President said the nation is proud of its sons who sacrificed their lives for the country and also made Pakistan a nuclear power.

He urged the nation to make a solemn pledge that they would work with devotion and dedication and not allow anybody impede the development process. He said being a nation it is also our duty to purge the country of curses such as corruption.

President Mamnoon Hussain said the government has set the right priorities and working tirelessly for the welfare and relief of the masses.

Referring to Zarb-e-Azb Operation against terrorism, Mamnoon Hussain said our armed forces are rendering their lives in this most difficult war of the history. He announced that he will personally visit the soldiers and officers engaged in the Operation. He said the martyrs of Peshawar school attack also deserve our salute who with their sacrifices made it clear on the enemy that this nation cannot be defeated.

He said the consensus amongst all segments of society on national plan of action on terrorism is a commendable step which also reflects that the elimination of this menace is not far away.

The President said Pakistan wants peaceful and friendly relations with all its neighbors including India on the basis of equality. He said Pakistan desires resolution of all disputes with India including Jammu and Kashmir through dialogue. He said the Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and the United Nations Security Council's resolutions. This, he said, can only ensure durable peace and stability in the region.

Mamnoon Hussain said Pakistan enjoys historic religious and cultural ties with Afghanistan and these relations are further being cemented. The President also thanked the friendly countries who are extending cooperation to Pakistan in execution of different projects.

Mamnoon Hussain said our forces are also playing pivotal role in the UN peacekeeping missions in different conflict zones. He declared that Pakistan will continue to play its role for world peace and security.

He termed the extension of Pakistan's seabed to 350 nautical miles by the United Nations as a significant development saying it will further enhance country's natural resources.

The colourful ceremony of Pakistan Day parade kicked off with a splendid fly-past of aircraft of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy led by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.

The formations of F-16, JF-17, Mirage, F-7 PG and P-3C Orion presented salute to the chief guest by flying over the saluting dais. 

Different regiments of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force marched past the saluting dais presenting salute to the President.

Mechanised columns including tanks, rocket launchers, indigenously developed short and long range missiles including Nasr, Babar, Shaheen-1, Shaheen II, radars and unmanned aerial vehicles Burraq were showcased at the parade.

Floats depicting culture of the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan were also part of the parade.

Helicopters of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Navy presented fly-past. Personnel of Special Services Groups displayed a breathtaking show of paratrooping. The skydivers of the Special Services Groups presented heart touching free fall from 10,000 feet while carrying the national flags. 

Aircraft of Pakistan Air Force including JF-17 Thunder presented aerobatic maneuvers amidst the cheers and clapping of the spectators.

The ceremony culminated with presentation of national songs by the students of different schools.


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