Pakistan Day parade to be held on limited scale as army joins austerity drive

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army has decided to hold the annual parade of the armed forces on the eve of the Pakistan Day on a limited scale, joining the government’s austerity drive that aims at warding off the economic crisis.

The military parade is observed each year on March 23. The event is at the center of celebrations to commemorate a 1940 Lahore Resolution that called for the establishment of an independent country for the Muslims of British-ruled India.

Thousands of Pakistanis used to gather at Shakarparian ground in Islamabad every year to celebrate the day and watch the glorious display of the country’s military power and cultural diversity.

Pakistan has been reeling under a massive economic crisis with the rupee recording historic low, depleting foreign exchange reserve and decades-high inflation. In view of the financial crunches, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in February this year unveiled a massive austerity drive at the federal government level to slash expenditures while eyeing an ambitious plan to save Rs200 billion annually.

Sources said this year’s military parade would be held at the President House instead of the traditional venue in view of the economic challenges being faced by the country.

The Pakistan Army has decided to follow the austerity policy alongside the people. The move to limit the parade event will help cut the cost as it caused huge expenses.

Pakistan Army stands with the entire nation in the difficult times and is ready to play its role in the development of the country, sources said.