Concerned over rising militant attacks and threat to its security personnel due to an ongoing military offensive in the restive tribal region, Pakistan has cancelled the annual parade of its armed forces for the third consecutive year.
The Pakistan Day Parade, the biggest event of the country's armed forces, which was scheduled for March 23 this year, has been cancelled by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on the basis of reasons given by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Tariq Majeed, Defence ministry sources said.
There is a threat of terrorist attack on security forces and moreover, since high profile personalities such as the president, prime minister, diplomats and large number of people come to witness the parade, their security is also important, they said.
The move comes just a day after the twin bomb attack in the southern port city of Karachi where 33 people were killed.
An explosion ripped through a bus carrying Shia Muslims to a religious gathering Friday. Around two hours later, the second bombing took place at a state-run hospital where the dead and the injured had been taken. A third bomb, which was planted in the parking lot of the hospital, was defused by the security forces.
Due to the current security situation in the country and the ongoing military operation in South Waziristan it was not possible to hold the joint parade, the sources told Online news agency.
More than 150,000 troops are stationed at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border while thousands of military personnel are deployed for maintaining security in the tribal Swat and Malakand region.
The last time the event was held in 2007 and was attended by the then President General Pervez Musharraf.