Full-dress rehearsal of Pakistan Day parade was held here Saturday at the newly constructed Parade Ground near Faizabad Interchange.
Special Services Group (SSG) of Pakistan Army enthralled the environment with the slogans of “Allah Hu” whereas female contingent was also exceptional while paying tribute. Commandos of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and Frontier Constabulary conducted march-past in their unique style whereas Pakistan Air Force (PAF) carried out brilliant fly-past. Mechanised Infantry Unit, Light Infantry Commando battalion, Pakistan Army aviation helicopters Bell Helly, MI-17, Cobra gunship helicopter, and PUMA helicopters fly before the podium. Floats were also presented to highlight the culture of the four provinces on which regional dance and cultural melodies were played.
Earlier, all the main roads coming to the parade avenue were closed for every type of traffic. Mobile phone service has been suspended from 6:00am in I-8, I-9, Faizabad, Margalla Town, Rawal Town, Sohan, Zero Point, G-6, G-7 and other nearby areas of Parade Avenue. Security has also been tightened in Rawalpindi and Islamabad by setting up checkpoints on different places and deploying police and soldiers of Pakistan Army.
The March 23 parade will start with the tribute of 21-gun salute whereas President Mamnoon Hussain as Supreme Commander will review the parade of armed forces. The Pakistan Day is being held after a period of 13 years.
Earlier, all the main roads coming to the Parade Avenue were closed for every type of traffic. The busiest Murree Road, linking Rawalpindi to Islamabad, was sealed through blockades at the point of Shamsabad whereas checkpoints were setup at Airport Chowk, Khanna Bridge and Shakrial on Express way restoring the traffic through alternate routes. The IJP Road was closed and those commuters trying to reach Islamabad for job from Rawalpindi suffered the most. Traffic police were not visible at the crossings near AIOU and Red Crescent society. Military personnel standing there were not allowing the traffic to move towards Zero Point despite the fact that the rehearsal was being held near Faizabad. The absence of traffic police irked the citizens but they did not argue with the army men.
The citizens urged the interior minister and IG Islamabad Traffic Police to at least keep open the 9th Avenue and then from Peshawar Mor to Zero point so that commuters face minimum inconvenience.
Meanwhile, security measures have beefed up in twin cities for scheduled 23rd March parade in federal capital to deal with any unwanted situation.
In wake of the security situation of the country, police check posts have been formed at entry point of Islamabad from Rawalpindi. The security arrangements of surrounding area of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have also been made foolproof. The police personnel on check post have been provided with special metal detectors for checking and screening of the people coming towards the city. Police personnel’s are performing their duties with modern weapons on the newly formed check post.
The entry and exit routes of Islamabad will be closed, during the time of parade is ongoing. Some 2,000 police personnel will be performing duties on various check posts.