World / Asia-Pacific

Pakistan holds military parade on Republic Day

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-23 15:42

Addressing the parade President Mamnoon Hussain said the government will rid Pakistan of terrorism, militancy, ethnicity and sectarianism to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.

"Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all countries particularly the neighbors. Pakistan desires a peaceful settlement of all issues with India, including Kashmir," the president said. He said Pakistan wants to build cordial ties with Afghanistan and maintain peace internationally.

The president said the armed forces have launched an offensive in North Waziristan tribal region against terrorists and are waging the most difficult war of the history.

He referred to the Taliban's savage attack on a army-run school and killing of 150 children and staff members in December last year and said the brutal attack united the whole nation against terrorism.

Paying great homage to the martyrs of the security forces, the president said the nation is proud of its sons who sacrificed their lives for the country.

The Pakistan Day dawned with 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salutes in provincial capitals as part of the celebrations. It is a public holiday and national flag is being hoisted on major government buildings.

All TV channels are airing special programs to highlight importance of the day. Newspapers have brought out special supplements.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his special message urged people to show unity to frustrate designs of the terrorists and inimical forces.

The prime minister said that the anti-state elements threatening Pakistan were out to threaten not only the lives but also the very fabric of Pakistani nation but the Pakistanis had irrevocably stood up to the challenge and resolved never to give in.

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