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.
"While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far," the Pakistan's foreign office said,
China on Friday said it was wrong to accuse it of sheltering terrorists because it put a technical hold on the resolution to blacklist Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group chief Masood Azhar as its decision was in line with the rules of an anti-terrorism panel at the UN.
Imran Khan said he received a message from Modi in which the latter extended "greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan."
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has called the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states as well as the heads of states of Arab League countries for two extraordinary summits in the Holy City of Makkah on May 30, to look into the recent acts of sabotage against commercial vessels off the UAE waters and the dual terrorist attacks against two Saudi pumping stations, and their consequences on the region.
Ajman University Chancellor Dr Karim Seghir, and French Ambassador to the UAE Ludovic Pouille with the staff of Alliance directed by Bernard Frontero opened the “Alliance Française Ajman” (AFA) Centre on Sunday morning at Ajman University, Student Hub.
Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister for Climate Change and Environment, represented the country on a global stage on Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 for a different kind of accolade, albeit one still linked to the environment.
In line with the Dubai Silk Road Strategy, the promotion of Chinese Alternative Medicine (CAM) and (TCM) in Dubai was sealed with the formal launch on Sunday at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre of the Dubai Healthcare City (DHC) free zone.