Pakistani president at military parade offers talks to India

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2017 8:59 AM
Pakistani president at military parade offers talks to India

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan held a military parade on Thursday to mark its national day, with Chinese, Saudi and Turkish troops for the first time participating in the event in a show of deepening ties with the world's only declared Islamic nuclear power.

Thousands of people chanted "Long Live Pakistan" as the country's armed forces showed off short- and long-range missiles, tanks, jets, drones and other military hardware at a stadium in the capital, Islamabad.

Pakistani troops, including female soldiers, marched past the country's political and military leadership. Earlier, President Mamnoon Hussain told the audience that his country was ready for talks with India on all issues, including the disputed Kashmir.

However, he used the opportunity to accuse India of endangering peace by recently violating a cease-fire in the disputed Himalayan region, which is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both in its entirety.

Hussain's comments came a day after his Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee, congratulated Pakistan on its Republic Day but said that India would build "ties with Pakistan in an environment free from terror and violence."

Pakistan and India have tensed relations and they have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.