President extends talks offer to India

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Pakistan Day
  • Mamnoon says Pakistan wants peaceful, friendly relations with neighbours; says India’s irresponsible attitude put region’s peace at risk

President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday terming Pakistan’s defence as impregnable said that the country’s conventional and nuclear capabilities were meant to ensure global and regional peace.

Addressing at the Pakistan Day parade here at the Shakarparian Parade Ground, he said that Pakistan wanted peaceful and friendly relations with its neighbours, however regretted that the irresponsible attitude of India and its continuous violation at the Line of Control and the working boundary had put the region’s peace at risk.

“Pakistan is ready to hold negotiations with India and also wants to resolve the issue of Kashmir in accordance with the resolutions of US,” he stressed. He termed Kashmir an unfinished agenda of the subcontinent’s partition, saying Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to its Kashmiri brethren.

He also said that Pakistan’s defence was strong and expressed resolve to make every effort for the progress, prosperity and solidarity of the homeland. The event was attended by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman, three services chiefs, ministers and lawmakers.

Besides ambassadors and military representatives of friendly countries, South African National Defence Forces chief General Solly Zacharia also joined the celebrations as special guest. The highlight of the parade was the first-time participation of the tri-services contingents of China’s People Liberation Army, Saudi Arabia’s Special Forces and Turkey’s Mehtar Band in the parade along with Pakistani troops.

President Mamnoon urged upon the international community to fulfill its obligation in this regard so as to realise the dream of regional stability and sustainable peace. He felicitated the audience on the Pakistan Day and said that the occasion narrated an account of determination and faith which gave strength to the Muslims of subcontinent to change the history and geography of the world under the prudent leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The president paid tributes to those who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan and its stability and said their footsteps would be followed to uphold the country’s sovereignty. He mentioned that Pakistan was fighting the menace of terrorism for the last several years and lauded the courageous services of the country’s armed forces and law enforcement agencies.

“It is the sacrifices of our martyrs and war veterans that have made Pakistan stronger than before,” he said. He said that Pakistan’s economy had gained stability and the country was emerging as a strong economic power of the region. He lauded the support of friendly and brotherly countries in Pakistan’s journey of progress and development, and particularly mentioned the sincere role of China.

He said that the mega project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had opened new vistas of prosperity for the entire region. He expressed pleasure that a contingent of China’s People Liberation Army was participating in the Pakistan Day parade, which he said was unprecedented in the history of Chinese military to join such parade in a foreign country.

He also mentioned the military contingents of Saudi Arabia and South Africa present on the occasion and said the beautiful tunes of Turkish military band had made the event memorable. He expressed gratitude to the guest countries for their participation and said Pakistan would always be there to extend its support to achieve the common goals of peace, progress and prosperity.

Earlier, the president arrived at the venue on his presidential horse-buggy and was received by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Zubair Mehmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and naval chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah were present at the podium.

The contingents led by Brigadier Amir Ahsan Nawaz of 15 Baloch Regiment presented salute to the president. The national anthem was played on the occasion. The contingents of the Punjab Regiment, 10 Northern Lights, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers Punjab, Islamabad Police, Lady Officers, tri-services nursing staff, girl guides and scouts, and Special Services Group stood alert as President Mamnoon reviewed the parade in a jeep.

The formation of F-16 aircraft led by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman flew past the presidential podium. The other aircraft included F-7PG, F-17, Mirage, Korakorum Eagle 3, AVACS, SAAB, C-130 and navy’s P-3C Orion. The parade venue was adorned with huge murals of Quaid-e-Azam and other national heroes.

The event demonstrated a military display of high-grade weaponry, tanks and armoured vehicles. Various floats depicting the cultural diversity of the country were also showcased.

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