Soldiers of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) march during aPakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, on March 23, 2017. (Xinhua/Saadia Seher)
ISLAMABAD, March 23 (Xinhua) -- A contingent of the guard of honor of the three services of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) took part in a grand military parade held in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Thursday morning to mark the country's Republic Day.
In his speech to the parade, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain thanked China for sending its soldiers for thePakistan Day parade and described it as an historic opportunity.
He said the Chinese army contingent had never participated in such events earlier in Pakistan.
The president also talked about the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying the project is a best example of China-Pakistan economic partnership.
The 90-member contingent of the PLA has come to Pakistan to feature in the parade on the invitation of the Pakistani side.
Earlier on a rehearsal day of the parade, Major General Li Jianbo, head of the Chinese contingent, told media "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."
Saudi Special Force's contingents and Turkish Janissary Military Band also participated in the parade.
Pakistan Day, or Republic Day, is a national holiday in Pakistan to commemorate 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.