Islamabad: It would be a “mistake” for India to view Pakistan with the eye of pre-partition and its desire for peace should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness, President Arif Alvi (in pic) said on Saturday as Islamabad displayed its military might on the National Day. Alvi was addressing the annual Pakistan Day Parade here to commemorate the resolution passed by the All-India Muslim League on the day in 1940 in Lahore seeking a separate country for Muslims.
The National Day featured a joint parade by the army, air force and navy, display of military hardware, along with open and veiled anti-India rhetoric. “It was the duty and responsibility of Pakistan to respond to the Indian aggression. We responded with better strategy,” Alvi said, apparently referring to the downing of an Indian Air Force jet.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group JeM killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February 14. India launched a counter-terror operation against a JeM training camp in Balakot. The next day, Pak Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.
Alvi said India’s actions jeopardised peace in the region. “It would a mistake on part of India to view Pakistan with the eye of pre-partition. Doing so would be very dangerous for the region’s stability. “India will have to accept Pakistan as a reality, and it must come to the conclusion that dialogue is the only way to resolve issues,” Alvi said at the ceremony where Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was the guest of honour. He said Pakistan wants peaceful co-existence but its “desire for peace should not be misconstrued as weakness”.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mehmood Hayat, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, naval chief Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi and Chief of Air Staff Mujahid Anwar Khan attended the ceremony.
According to official sources in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter to Khan, greeting people of Pakistan on the eve of its National Day and highlighting the importance of a terror-free South Asia. Modi, in his message, said it was time for the people of the sub-continent to work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive and prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence, they said.
China has to think what signal it is sending with Azhar hold: Ex-diplomat
New York: India’s former foreign secretary S Jaishankar has said China has to think what signal it is sending to the world by putting a technical hold in the UN on a proposal to list Pakistan-based terror group JeM’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. China last week blocked for the fourth consecutive time a resolution at the UN Security Council Committee on designating Azhar as a global terrorist.
The proposal under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the JeM killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.
Jaishankar, president of Global Corporate Affairs at Tata Group and India’s former ambassador to China and the US, said: “This is an issue that the Chinese have to think through for themselves, you know, what is the signal they are sending”. Jaishankar was participating in a discussion ‘New Roadmaps for Asia’ focusing on the Free and Open Indo-Pacific and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue at the city-based cultural organisation along with Japan’s former vice minister for foreign Affairs and member of the board at Mitsubishi Corporation Akitaka Saiki.