Islamabad, March 23 (IANS) A contingent of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) took part in a grand military parade here on Thursday to mark Pakistan's Republic Day.
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain thanked China for sending its soldiers for the parade and described it as a "historic opportunity", Xinhua news agency reported.
He said the Chinese army had never participated in such events earlier in Pakistan.
Hussain also acknowledged the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying the project is a best example of bilateral economic partnership.
Earlier on a rehearsal day of the parade, Major General Li Jianbo, head of China's 90-member contingent, said: "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, commemorates March 23, 1940 when a resolution was passed in Lahore, to demand a separate homeland for the Muslims.