Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan stand during the national anthem at a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan on Saturday. Reuters
ISLAMABAD: 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 on 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 neighbours. He said Pakistan’s war is against hunger, poverty and unemployment.
“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.
Alvi was to honor selected Pakistanis and foreigners with civilian awards later in the day. Naeem Rashid, who was killed while trying to stop the gunman who attacked two New Zealand mosques earlier this month, will be honored posthumously.
Indian tennis team will travel to Pakistan for the first time in 55 years to participate in the Davis Cup, Asian News International, ANI, quoted a senior official of All India Tennis Association, AITA, as saying on Sunday.
Passionate fans from both sides of cricket’s fiercest rivalry preached sporting peace after India’s World Cup thrashing of Pakistan on Sunday in front of an estimated global TV audience of a billion people.
Hosts England will aim to carry on their winning streak with a hat-trick when they meet minnows Afghanistan in the World Cup 2019 group affair at the Old Trafford here on Tuesday.
The second historic elections for 25 seats of the Sharjah Consultative Council (SCC) will begin on Sept.1 with registration for the Electoral College membership and conclude on Dec.11 with announcement of the winners.
The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) has renewed its commitment to helping refugees – which includes internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees – in Syria as well as those at the Zaatari Camp in Jordan with a financial grant of Dhs2.6 million for two projects being implemented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Criminal Court in Dubai on Sunday looked into the case of five Asians charged with committing 36 felonies between forgery, use of forged documents and exploiting the powers of a job through which they were able to appropriate Dhs357,000 of public funds via fuel cards.