On the eve of Pakistan Day, the President the country Arif Alvi said that t would be a “mistake” for India to view Pakistan with the eye of pre-partition and its desire for peace should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness.
Alvi was addressing the annual Pakistan Day Parade in Islamabad to commemorate the resolution passed by the All-India Muslim League on the day in 1940 in Lahore demanding a separate country for Muslims.
The National Day featured a joint parade by the army, air force and navy, display of military hardware, along with open and veiled anti-India rhetoric.
“It was the duty and responsibility of Pakistan to respond to the Indian aggression… We responded with better strategy,” Alvi said, apparently referring to the downing of an Indian Air Force jet.
Alvi said India’s actions jeopardised peace in the region.
The president said that it would by myopic of the Indian leadership and a mistake for them to view Pakistan in the pre-partition light. “Doing so would be very dangerous for the region’s stability,” he said. “Instead of wars, we should focus on education, health, hunger, employment and extremist mindset. Our real war is against unemployment and poverty.”
“India will have to accept Pakistan as a reality, and it must come to the conclusion that dialogue is the only way to resolve issues,” Alvi said at the ceremony where Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was the guest of honour.
He said Pakistan wants peaceful co-existence but its “desire for peace should not be misconstrued as weakness”.
“We are a peaceful nation, but are not oblivious to our defence, and the same has been proved in the recent demonstration of Pakistan’s defence capability,” he said, adding that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and respects integrity and sovereignty of other states.
Alvi said the country is safe and moving on the path of progress and development after effectively combating the menace of terrorism.