'India Putting Regional Peace At Stake'

Islamabad—On 78th Pakistan Day, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday accused India of putting regional peace at stake by ceasefire violations and human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan Day commemorates the passing of the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940, when the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate nation for the Muslims of the British Indian Empire. On this day in 1956, Pakistan became the world's first Islamic republic.

While addressing the Pakistan Day event at Parade Ground in the capital, Mamnoon "warned India to stop its atrocities along the border", Dawn online reported.

"With these actions, Pakistan's neighbour has put the regional peace at stake," he said referring to cross-border ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hussain said "India was continuously increasing its military might and this attitude and behaviour is harmful... Our peace oriented approach should not be taken as our weakness," he said.

He also stated that the issue of Kashmir can only be resolved in accordance with UN resolutions calling for right to self determination and wishes of the people of Kashmir.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was the "guest of honour" at the event. He was received by Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad.

Hussain also greeted the forces from Turkey, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates that took part in the parade. Mobile phone services were suspended in the capital during the event. Various aeroplanes belonging to Army Aviation and Pakistan Air Force demonstrated aerobatic feats for the audience.

Talking about anti-terrorism operations in Pakistan, Hussain lauded the armed forces as well as the nation for eliminating terrorism from the country under operations Raddul Fasad and Zarb-i-Azb and announced a medal "Tamga-i-Azam" for those who rendered sacrifices for restoration of peace.

‘On CPEC, India Should Review Its Short-Sighted Approach’

India should review its "short-sighted" approach towards the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and benefit from it, instead of criticising it, Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said.

"CPEC is purely an economic development project that would bring prosperity. India should get benefit from the project rather than pursuing unnecessary criticism," Iqbal was cited as saying by Dawn online on Friday.

The CPEC connects China's Kashgar in Xinjiang province with Pakistan's Gwadar port in Balochistan through a network of roads, railways and highways. India strongly objects to the route of the corridor, which goes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Iqbal said India's reaction to the CPEC was "not positive and sooner or later it would realise that the project would benefit the entire region".

"The CPEC would bring prosperity to the region, including China and Pakistan," he added.

The Minister further said "the resolution of the issues didn't lie in tensions and disputes among regional countries". He said that "India held the key to peace in South Asia and that country could not progress without cooperation".

Iqbal said the future of Asian countries depended on promotion of trade and commerce and connectivity through transport corridors. "Transport corridors help connect the countries and play a pivotal role in economic integration, trade development and regional connectivity across the globe."

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