Pakistan showcases military even as tensions with India ease


ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan celebrated its national day on Saturday with a military parade showcasing its missiles, tanks and aircraft, even as the prime minister and his Indian counterpart exchanged goodwill messages in a sign of easing tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered “best wishes” to his counterpart Imran Khan ahead of Saturday’s celebrations. Khan welcomed the statement late Friday and called for a comprehensive dialogue on all issues, including the disputed Kashmir region.

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared last month after a suicide attack killed 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir. The Indian air force launched an airstrike inside Pakistan, saying it was targeting militants it blamed for the bombing.

Pakistan retaliated and said it shot down two Indian air force planes. One pilot was captured and later released. India says it lost only one plane.

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi marked the national day by saying the region needs peace, not war, and that Pakistan wants to live peacefully with its neighbors. He said Pakistan’s war is against hunger, poverty and unemployment.

Prominent Investor Cancels New York Plans 40 Years in the Making After Trump Ruling

“Our desire for peace shouldn’t be construed as our weakness. Let’s end the hatred and sow the seeds of peace in this region for prosperity of the people,” Alvi said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was the chief guest of the parade, in which troops marched through the streets of Islamabad and warplanes staged acrobatic flyovers. Authorities suspended mobile phone services and blocked roads as part of security precautions.

Later Saturday, President Alvi held a ceremony in which he honored military officers and accomplished civilians in their respective fields. The presidency also announced that Naeem Rashid, who was killed trying to stop the gunman who attacked two New Zealand mosques earlier this month, will be honored posthumously later this year.

The nationwide celebrations were marred by tragedy when a wall collapsed over students and teachers marking the occasion in the eastern city of Gujranwala. Local administrator Naila Baqar said five students and a teacher died, and 12 others were injured.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City