ISLAMABAD – Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday accused India of ceasefire violations and human rights abuses, saying New Delhi’s actions have put regional peace at stake.
He also underlined the Kashmir issue at the “Pakistan Day” joint military parade in Islamabad.
Pakistan Day commemorates the passing of the famous Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940, when the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims of British India.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was the Guest of Honour. He was received by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the parade ground in Islamabad.
Indian deputy high commissioner J P Singh was also seen seated among the foreign diplomats invited to witness the parade.
Referring to cross-border ceasefire violations President Mamnoon accused India of gross human rights violations in Kashmir.
“With these actions, Pakistan’s neighbour has put the regional peace at stake,” he said.
Calling upon for an immediate and peaceful resolution of the struggle of Kashmiri people, the President said, “The only solution to the dispute of Kashmir is to provide the right of self-determination to Kashmiris, and Pakistan will continue to play its role in this regard.”
He said that Pakistan was ready to extend a hand of co-operation to the regional countries, but “taking it as a weakness will be a dangerous mistake”.
Mamnoon also said that the global scenario has changed, and now countries could not be coerced to tow the line of one particular country.
Cautioning against exploitation, suppression of nations and interference into the internal affairs of any country by another nation, he said: “Pakistan’s foreign policy was about achieving permanent peace in the world and is based on non-interference into internal issues of other countries”.
He said that Pakistan had been playing a vital role for the global peace and rendering commendable services from the UN platform for it.
On the issue of Afghanistan, Mamnoon said that Pakistan would continue playing its role for peaceful resolution of the Afghan issue.
“Pakistan had always played a historic role in the peaceful settlement of Afghan issue and for the stability of the Afghanistan government.”
He also stressed that efforts to curb terrorism should continue so those achievements made so far could be further strengthened.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in his message, said that “We cannot succeed without upholding the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution.”
The special performance by the Jordan military band was the highlight of the day in which troops from Turkey and UAE also participated.
Contingents from Pakistan’s Army, Air Force, Navy, Frontier Corps and Pakistan Rangers participated in a march-past.
Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan led a fly-past as a salute to the president and later joined the guests at the parade ground.
The other who witnessed the event include Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khurrum Dastagir, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Navy Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee Zubair Mehmood Hayat.
Pakistan Day parade resumed in 2015 after a gap of seven years. It was suspended due to the threat of militancy.
Earlier, the day began with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals.
Security was on high alert in the capital and mobile phone services remained suspended. Around 2,000 military and police personnel were deployed.
President confers awards on various personalities for their outstanding contribution
An investiture ceremony was held at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad where President Mamnoon Hussain conferred awards and medals on different personalities for their outstanding contribution in different fields. He decorated 141 recipients of Pakistan Civil Awards, including 10 foreign nationals and Pakistanis living abroad.
Seven awards were given in the category of Hilal-e-Imtiaz, four Sitara-i-Pakistan, eight Sitara-i-Shujaat, 26 Sitara-i-Imtiaz, 49 pride of performance, one each Sitara-e-Quaid-i-Azam and Sitar-i-Khdimat, 22 Tamgha-e-Shuja’at, and 21 Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.