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Chinese Honour Guards join Pakistan Day rehearsals

March 20, 2017


People's Liberation Army Honour Guards rehearsing for Pakistan Day parade. -Wang Qi/For China Daily
People's Liberation Army Honour Guards rehearsing for Pakistan Day parade. -Wang Qi/For China Daily

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Honour Guards have joined rehearsals for the upcoming Pakistan Day parade, China Daily reported on Monday.

The guards will participate in the parade for the first time after China's military leadership received an invitation from Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

China has sent a 90-strong contingent, of which 72 members will participate in the parade, the Chinese publication added.

The Honour Guards took part in a rehearsal on Sunday and were welcomed warmly by their Pakistani hosts, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

The PLA Honor Guards, formed in 1952, take part in every significant national event and welcome ceremony for foreign leaders in China. They have also performed at parades in Mexico, Italy and Venezuela.

Inter-Services Public Relations' (ISPR) director general, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, had earlier this month announced that Chinese soldiers would take part in the March 23 parade to mark Pakistan Day celebrations.

A Turkish military band is also slated to take part in the parade, according to ISPR.

The military parade was resumed in 2015 after a gap of seven years and was seen as a manifestation of the military's show of strength in the wake of a shocking attack in 2014 on the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar, which left 150 dead, including 132 schoolchildren.

Pakistan Day commemorates the passage of the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940, under which the Muslims of the British Indian Empire demanded a separate nation, as well as the declaration of Pakistan as an Islamic republic on the same day in 1956.