Pakistan Day (Urdu: یومِ پاکستان, lit. Yaum-e-Pakistan) or Pakistan Resolution Day, also Republic Day, is a national holiday in Pakistan primarily commemorating the adoption of the first Constitution of Pakistan during the transition of the Dominion of Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 23 March 1956 making Pakistan the world's first Islamic republic.[1] The day also celebrates the adoption of the Lahore Resolution by the Muslim League at the Minar-e-Pakistan (lit. Pakistan Tower) which called for the creation of an independent sovereign state derived from the provinces with Muslim majorities located in the North-West and East of British India (excluding autonomous princely States) on 23 March 1940.[2][3][1][4]

Pakistan Day
یومِ پاکستان
Official nameUrdu: یومِ پاکستان
lit. Yaum-e-Pakistan[Note 1]
Observed by Pakistan
TypeIslamic Republic
SignificanceCommemoration of Pakistan Resolution and Constitution
CelebrationsFull Joint Inter-Services military parade, conferring of national decorations
ObservancesPakistan (Diplomatic missions of Pakistan in other countries)
Date23 March
Next time23 March 2025 (2025-03-23)
First time23 March 1940 (84 years ago) (1940-03-23)

The day is celebrated annually primarily by Government officials and army staff throughout the country and is a public holiday for civilians. While civilians do not celebrate the public holiday, the Pakistan Armed Forces usually hold a military parade to celebrate both the passing of the Lahore Resolution in 1940 and the Constitution of 1956.[5][6]


Group photo of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (in centre) and some of the Founding Fathers of Pakistan in Lahore, c. 1940

The Muslim League held its annual session at Minto Park in Lahore, Punjab, 23rd March 1940.[7] During this event, the Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other Founding Fathers narrated the events regarding the differences between Hindus and Muslims, and introduced the historical resolution that cemented the formation of a nation-state in South Asia as Pakistan, even though it did not actually mention Pakistan at all.[8]

The resolution was moved by A. K. Fazlul Huq (26 October 1873 – 27 April 1962), often called Sher-e-Bangal, passed on 23rd March and had its signatures from the Founding Fathers of Pakistan. It reads as:[9]

[Quoting Resolution:] No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary. That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.

The British plan to partition the Indian subcontinent into two dominions - India and Pakistan - was announced on 3 June 1947. In the event, Pakistan was created on 14 August 1947 and Indian independence came a day later. Pakistan was immediately identified as a migrant state born amid bloodshed. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, became the first Governor General of Pakistan with Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan becoming the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Indian Act of 1935 provided the legal framework for Pakistan until 1956, when the state passed its own constitution.[10]

While Pakistan's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its constitution.

Works and efforts by the Basic Principles Committee drafted the basic outlines of the constitution in 1949.[11] After many deliberations and years of some modifications, the first set of the Constitution of Pakistan was enforced in the country on 23 March 1956. This marked the country's successful transition from Dominion to Islamic Republic. The Governor-General was replaced with the President of Pakistan as ceremonial head of state.[12] Initially it was called Republic Day but after Ayub Khan's takeover its name was changed to Pakistan Day due to the end of democracy in Pakistan.



The main celebration is held in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.[13] The President of Pakistan is usually the Chief Guest; also in attendance are the Prime Minister of Pakistan alongside the Cabinet ministers, military chiefs of staff, and chairman joint chiefs.[14]

A full inter-services joint military parade is rehearsed and broadcast live by the news media all over the country.[14] The Pakistan military inter services also gives a glance of its power and capabilities during this parade.

The celebrations regarding the holiday include a full military and civilian parade in the capital, Islamabad.[5] These are presided by the President of Pakistan and are held early in the morning.[14] After the parade, the President confers national awards and medals on the awardees at the Presidency.[14] Wreaths are also laid at the mausoleums of Muhammad Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.[5] In very rare times and significance, foreign dignitaries have been invited to attend the military parade.[15]

In the United States, while New York City has celebrated North America's largest Pakistan Day parade for decades, New Jersey's first annual Pakistan Day parade was held on August 16, 2015, in Edison and Woodbridge, New Jersey.[16][17]

Parade Commanders


From 1956 to 2018, the following officers from the army have led the joint services parade:

Year Officer Unit Notes
1983 Brigadier Nasir Khan 1st Punjab Regiment .
1987 Brigadier Afzal Janjua SJ FF Regt Later Lt. Gen.
1989 Brigadier Yasub Dogar 2 FF Regiment (Guides)
1996 Brigadier Naveed Nasr 17 Punjab Regiment Also commanded 70 Punjab
1997 Brigadier Javed Iqbal 18 Field Regiment MS to Nawaz Sharif in 1999
1998 Brigadier Akram Sahi FF Regt Later Maj. Gen.
1999 Brigadier Muhammad Sarmad Ibrar 3 Baluch Regt Later Lt. Gen.
20xx Brigadier Badar Munir 5 AK Regt
2005 Brigadier Naushad Kiani Punjab Regt Later Maj. Gen.
2007 Brigadier Tariq Ghafoor FF Regt Later Maj. Gen.
2008 Brigadier Ihsan ul Haq Later Maj. Gen.
2015 Brigadier Khurram Sarfaraz 27 Baluch Regt
2016 Brigadier Amir Majeed 29 AK Regt
2017 Brigadier Amer Ahsan Nawaz 3 Baluch Regt Now Lt. Gen.
2018 Brigadier Abdul Saboor Hasan 19 FF Regt

Foreign dignitaries who have attended the parade


From 1956 to 2019, the following foreign dignitaries attended the parade:

Foreign dignitary Guest of Honour Country Notes
1985 General Rudini   Indonesia Chief of staff Indonesian Army
1987 Robert Mugabe   Zimbabwe President of Zimbabwe
1996 Cassam Uteem   Mauritius President of Mauritius
1997 OIC Heads of States OIC Members To attend Extra-Ordinary OIC Summit
2005 Hamid Karzai   Afghanistan President of Afghanistan
2018 Maithripala Sirisena   Sri Lanka President of Sri Lanka
2019 Mahathir Mohamad   Malaysia Prime Minister of Malaysia

Foreign contingents

Year Contingent Country
1956 Janissary Military Band   Turkey
1956 Iran Military Contingent   Iran
1956 Turkish Military Contingent   Turkey
1997 Janissary Military Band   Turkey
2017 Beijing Garrison Honor Guard Battalion   China
2017 Janissary Military band   Turkey
2018 Saudi Arabian Special Forces   Saudi Arabia
2018 UAE elite unit   UAE
2018 Jordanian Armed Forces Band   Jordan
2019 Azerbaijan Army   Azerbaijan
2019 People's Liberation Army Air Force   China
2019 Turkish Air Force   Turkey
2019 Saudi Arabian Army (Paratroopers)   Saudi Arabia
2019 Sri Lanka Army (Paratroopers)   Sri Lanka
2019 Royal Bahraini Army (Paratroopers)   Bahrain
2019 Royal Brunei Land Forces (Paratroopers)   Brunei

See also


Notes and references

  1. ^ Official name is (Urdu: Urdu: یومِ پاکستان, lit. Yaum-e-Pakistan) or Pakistan Day in English. The day also commemorates The Pakistan Resolution Day, Republic Day (Urdu: يومِ جمهوريه) or as Joint Inter-Services parade. Unofficially, the day is also known as 23 March


  1. ^ a b John Stewart Bowman (2000). Columbia chronologies of Asian history and culture. Columbia University Press. p. 372. ISBN 978-0-231-11004-4. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  2. ^ Olson, Gillia (2005). "Holidays". Pakistan : a question and answer book. Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press. ISBN 0736837574.
  3. ^ Singh, Sarina; et al. (2008). Pakistan & the Karakoram Highway (7th ed.). Footscray, Vic.: Lonely Planet.
  4. ^ Rizvi, Hasan Askari (23 March 2015). "Pakistan and March 23". No. Special works published by Dr. H.A. Rizvi. Express Tribune, Rizvi. Express Tribune. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Agencies (23 March 2012). "Nation celebrates Pakistan Day today". The Nation. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  6. ^ (23 March 2015). "Pakistan holds first Republic Day parade in seven years". Dawn News, 2015. Dawn. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  7. ^ Programme of the All India Muslim Leagues 27th Annual Session, to be held at Lahore 21 to 24 March 1940, at the National Archives of Pakistan, Islamabad, the Quaid i Azam Papers, File 1354
  8. ^ Syed Iftikhar Ahmed (1983), Essays on Pakistan, Alpha Bravo Publishers, Lahore, OCLC 12811079
  9. ^ The Pakistan Resolution, Government of Pakistan Official website. (Retrieved on 23 April 2006)
  10. ^ Cohen, Stephen P. The idea of Pakistan. Brookings Institution Press, 2004.
  11. ^ Hussain, Rizwan. Pakistan. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  12. ^ Ghazali, Abdus Sattar. "The First Islamic Republic". Islamic Pakistan: Illusions and Reality. Islamabad: National Book Club. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  13. ^ Staff work (22 March 2015). "Preparations complete for Pakistan Day parade on March 23". NewsTribe, 2015. NewsTribe. Archived from the original on 23 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  14. ^ a b c d (24 March 2015). "Pakistan holds first Republic Day parade in seven years". Dawn Newspapers, 2015. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  15. ^ (24 March 2015). "Relive Pakistan Day: 1940 – 2000". Dawn archives, 2015. Dawn archives. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  16. ^ Ed Murray (16 August 2015). "Pakistan Day Parade a display of pride in their heritage and America". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Archived from the original on 19 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  17. ^ Michelle Sahn (15 August 2015). "ICYMI: Pakistan Day Parade To Be Held Sunday In Woodbridge, Edison". Woodbridge Patch. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.