ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said Pakistan, being a strong and peaceful nuclear state as well as an emerging economic power, believed in peaceful co-existence and did not want war.
“But our desire for peace should not be misconstrued as our weakness. With the grace of Almighty Allah our defence is impregnable,” he said while speaking at an impressive Pakistan Day joint parade by the country’s armed forces here at the Shakarparian Parade Ground.
Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the guest of honour at the Pakistan Day Parade, which was also attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, cabinet members, provincial governors, chief ministers, services chiefs, foreign diplomats and various segments of the country and society.
The president said Pakistan with its ever-alive and strong nation was a reality, which should be accepted by India as its shortsighted and imprudent approach was dangerous for regional peace.
He said there was a need to wage war against the challenges of poverty, unemployment, health, education etc in the region.
The president said Pakistan, which believed in a democratic approach of resolving the issues through dialogue and peaceful means, did not want war and desired to move forward by leaving behind the bitterness of past.
He, however, mentioned that the inappropriate attitude of India posed danger to peace in the region. India put the blame of Pulwama incident on Pakistan without any evidence and created a war-like situation through its threatening statements.
Pakistan used its right of defence and retaliated against the Indian aggression with an effective strategy and response after their jets violated the country’s air space, he added.
Dr Alvi said Pakistan’s effective response also depicted the high professional standards and capabilities the country’s armed forces, which never discouraged the nation and its expectations in challenging hours. “I salute the Armed Forces of Pakistan. No doubt, you are the pride of Pakistan,” he maintained.
The president said the holding of Pakistan Day Parade despite tension at borders also depicted the high spirits of the country and nation as well as their desire for peace. “But we are not oblivious of our defence.”
President Alvi said Pakistan had successfully confronted the challenge of terrorism, but still more efforts and measures were needed by all to root-out the menace.
He said Pakistan desired a peaceful and sovereign Afghanistan, and would continue to play its role for achieving the objective. The people of Afghanistan also wanted to get rid of the long war.
The president said the participation of China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Bahrain in the Pakistan Day Parade was the reflection of their friendship with Pakistan, for which he was thankful to the people and governments of those countries.
He thanked Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad for gracing the occasion as the guest of honor.
He also thanked the Azerbaijan Minister of Defence and the Chief of Bahrain National Guards for attending the Pakistan Day Parade.
The president congratulated the whole nation on Pakistan Day. “We should thank Almighty Allah Who bestowed us with the bounty of independence and enabled us with the capabilities to protect it.”.
He said March 23 was a day to express determination to turn Pakistan into a true and model Islamic welfare state as visualized by the founding fathers and for which the Muslims of the Sub-continent struggled and also rendered sacrifices under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Dr Alvi said as the nations had to render sacrifices to maintain their independence, Pakistan also faced various challenges and conspiracies in the past, including the menace of terrorism, and successfully confronted those challenges.
He said Pakistan being an alive, strong and flourishing nation, was a reality and India should accept it. The region, which was faced with challenges like poverty and hunger, required peace and not war.
Earlier, the president reviewed the parade and was presented “Salami” (salute) by different columns of the armed forces as well as the flypast of Pakistan Air Force fighter jets led by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan. The fighter aircraft, which participated the flypast included JF-17 Thunder, F-16, Mirage and F-7.