Turkey to participate in Pakistan’s military parade

Turkish troops will participate in Pakistan’s military parade on March 23, a Pakistani army official announced Monday. The Pakistani parade marks Pakistan’s 1940 independence resolution.

In a statement, Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said a Turkish military band and a contingent of Chinese army were the only two foreign forces invited to take part in the Pakistan Day parade due in the capital Islamabad.

The army spokesman, however, did not specify the number of Turkish troops that will participate in the parade.

Pakistan’s military parade, which remained suspended from 2008 to 2014 due to security concerns, resumed in 2015.

The event commemorates the adoption of an independence resolution — commonly known as Pakistan Resolution – in northeastern Lahore city in 1940, which demanded for the first time an independent state comprising Muslim-majority states in the then United India under British colonial rule.

The passing of the landmark resolution subsequently led to the creation of Pakistan on Aug. 14, 1947, marking the end of over 150 years of British colonial rule.

Defense cooperation between Islamabad and Ankara has increased in recent years with Islamabad considering the procurement of Turkish Aerospace Industries T-129 attack helicopters.

Turkish military chief Gen. Hulusi Akar visited Pakistan last month to discuss ways of expanding defense and military cooperation between the two countries, with his Pakistani military leadership.

In November 2016, Ankara announced it will buy 52 Super Mashaak training aircraft from Pakistan, in addition to a $75 million deal signed in May last year, under which Turkey would modernize Pakistan air force’s F-16 fleet.