ISLAMABAD - Chinese President Xi Jinping is now likely to visit Pakistan next month as guest of honour at Pakistan Day parade which will be resuming after seven years’ gap, sources said on Monday.

Visit by the Chinese president was postponed last year because of the security reasons and consequently he opted to visit India. Beijing and Islamabad have been in touch to reschedule the visit, and it was expected that President Jinping may visit Pakistan later this month.

However according to diplomatic sources the visit may now take place next month on the eve of Pakistan Day celebrations on March 23. Both China and Pakistan are working out details of the visit.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam during her last week media briefing said that the visit by the president of China was very much on the cards. But she had no confirmed dates.

The government decided to resume the military parade after six years. The last military parade took place on March 23, 2008 during the tenure of Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf as a civilian president. Last year, the military parade was cancelled for the sixth time in a row due to security reasons.

The decision to resume the parade has been taken to demonstrate nation’s commitment and capacity to tackle challenge of terrorism in the wake of terrorist attack on the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar last year, which left 150 people dead, including 132 schoolchildren.

The tragedy shook the country's conscience, with the government and military convening a Multi-Party Conference (MPC) and evolving the National Action Plan (NAP) that also included establishment of special trial courts to try terrorists.

As immediate reaction to the grisly attack, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the six-year moratorium on the death penalty in terrorism cases, which has since resulted in over 20 executions. Political parties also resolved, in an emergency meeting, to create special courts overseen by military officials.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has expressed total resolve of Pakistan Army to take on terrorists with heightened military offensives in North Waziristan, where operation Zarb-i-Azb is already under way to flush out local and foreign militants. Another expression of army's resolve to show strength and resilience in the wake of the APS attack in Peshawar was the decision to reopen the school despite fears and uncertainty regarding security in the province. COAS Raheel Sharif also attended a commemorative service on the reopening.