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Nation celebrates Pakistan Day with commitment to ensure progress, strong defense

Islamabad (March 23, 2019) Today’s ceremonies mark commemoration of the passage of Lahore Resolution on this day in 23rd March 1940, under which the Muslims of the sub-continent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.  The day dawned with thirty-one-gun salute in the federal capital and twenty-one-gun salute each in provincial capitals. Special prayers were offered in mosques after prayers for progress and prosperity of the country.

The main feature of the day was a spectacular military parade at Parade Avenue in Islamabad where three wings of the armed forces demonstrated their professionalism and military prowess.

Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan has reiterated PAF’s commitment to safeguard the air frontiers of Pakistan. Air Chief led the formations of PAF fly-past aircraft on the auspicious occasion. Keeping the tradition of his predecessors, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan flew over the venue in an F-16 Block 52 aircraft performing a magnificent vertical roll over the parade square.

The Turkish and Chinese pilots also demonstrated aerial maneuvers, which were applauded by the audience. A formation of Chinese Air Force presenting excellent aerobatics spread spiral of red and green smoke symbolizing Pakistan-China time-tested friendship.

Civil and military leadership, Malaysian PM Mahathir Muhammad and foreign dignitaries and ambassadors witnessed the parade. The parade also featured troops from Azerbaijan, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain and Sri Lanka.

Mechanized columns including tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, air defense system, tactical communication system, indigenously built UAVs, short and long ranged missiles Ra’ad, Nasr, Ghauri and Shaheen were showcased on the occasion. Paratroopers from Pakistan Army, Air Force and Navy demonstrated marvelous free fall.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mehmood Hayat and Services Chiefs witnessed the parade.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was the guest of honor of the parade. Minister of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, Commander National Guard of Bahrain Sheikh Mohamed Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, foreign diplomats, a large number of people from all walks of life, including artists, sportsmen, women and children witnessed the parade.

The parade culminated with presentation of a special song with the theme ‘Pakistan Zindabad.”

Pakistan’s hands cannot be tied in non-proliferation issue while giving India a free hand

 (March 25, 2019) In an interview with a Russian news agency, he said Pakistan holds the position that this capability eliminates the possibility of conventional war. No sane country having this capability would talk about using it. Asif Ghafoor also pointed out Pakistan will take steps towards non-proliferation of nuclear arms but only if India does the same. Pakistan will undertake anything, which is based on equality. He said the hands of Pakistan cannot be tied while keeping those of India open.

DG ISPR rejected India’s claim that Pakistan used US made F-16 to down Indian aircraft, stating that JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft developed jointly with China were used in the recent conflict. He, however, stressed that the country would use whatever it deemed necessary if it came to legitimate self-defense.

Referring to the standoff with India, Major General Asif Ghafoor said the Indian jets violated the Pakistani airspace on February 26, dropping payloads without inflicting any casualties or damage to infrastructure.       

Asif Ghafoor said whilst staying within our airspace, we first chose and locked the targets. He said Pakistan only wanted to tell the Indians that the country has the capability to hit. He said Pakistan has the footage of the operation.

Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan would welcome including that of Russia, which can bring peace in the region.

The DG ISPR said Pakistan valued Russia’s role in the Afghan settlement process and recognized its importance in regional processes. On military cooperation with Russia, the DG ISPR said Pakistan is negotiating defence industry cooperation with Moscow in the areas of aviation, air defense systems and anti-tank missiles.

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Pakistan Air Force shoots down two Indian fighter jets: one pilot arrested

ISLAMABAD (Wed. 27 Feb. 2019)  Pakistan shot down two Indian aircraft violating its airspace on Wed. The February 27 and captured one its pilots Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The News Editor Investigations Ansar Abbasi Tweeted, “Wing commander Nauman shot down SU 30 while Sqn Leader Hassan Siddique hit MIG 21.”

One plane (MIG 21) crashed in the Kohi Rata sector of Azad Kashmir while one (SU 30) crashed in Indian-Occupied Kashmir’s Budgam area.  In a video, the Indian pilot identified himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan. His service number is 27981 and he is a flying pilot.

India’s ministry of external affairs has accepted that one of their planes was shot down and that a pilot was captured.

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Pakistan returns Indian pilot shot down over Kashmir in ‘peace gesture’

Lahore( 1st March 2019 ) Pakistan has returned an Indian pilot who had become the face of the worst military crisis between the two countries in decades, in a gesture aimed at demonstrating its willingness to de-escalate the conflict. Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was shot down during the first publicly acknowledged dogfight between the countries in 48 years on Wednesday, was returned to India at the Wagah border crossing in Punjab on Friday evening 1st March.

Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, had announced his impending release in parliament on Thursday, calling it a “peace gesture”.

The diminutive iron gates on both sides of the border slid open and Varthaman strode out onto the no-man’s land in between. For a moment soldiers from both sides came face-to-face. Varthaman shook the hand of an Indian officer, and another took him by the waist and walked him onto Indian soil. The two gates were slammed shut behind him.

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Pakistan Navy detects Indian submarine, foils intrusion into its waters

KARACHI (4-3-2019)  According to the spokesperson, the Pakistan Navy detected an Indian submarine and stopped it from entering Pakistani waters. By doing so, the Pakistan Navy foiled every attempt of the Indian submarine to avoid being detected, dealing a setback to India in the seas. “The Submarine was detected and localised in Pakistan’s maritime zone on March 4, 2019,” mentioned the statement. “The submarine is being kept under watch along with monitoring of other Indian Navy units. The detected submarine is one of the latest submarines of Indian Navy,” added the statement. Footage of Indian submarine released by Pakistan Navy.

This was the second occasion since November 2016 when the Pakistan Navy detected an Indian submarine trying to wade into Pakistani waters. Previously on Nov 14, 2016, Pakistan Navy caught Indian Navy submarine operating in Pakistani Exclusive Economic Zone. “In order to maintain peace, the Indian submarine was not targeted which is a reflection of Pakistan’s desire for peace,” the statement said.

“Learning a lesson from this incident, India too should show its inclination towards peace,” it added.

Pakistan Navy used its specialised skills to ward off the submarine which was equipped with the latest technology. The achievement is an evidence of Pakistan Navy’s capabilities and shows it is ready and vigilant at all times to defend the country’s maritime frontiers, the spokesperson said. Pakistan Navy is capable of giving a jaw-breaking response to any aggression, the statement added.

The latest intrusion comes as tensions between India and Pakistan are at an all-time high following Indian incursions into Pakistani airspace and subsequent downing of two Indian aircraft by Pakistan Air Force.

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Pakistan successfully test-fires long-range ‘smart missile’ from JF-17 Thunder

ISLAMABAD: (March 12, 2019) The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) successfully test-fired indigenously developed extended range “smart weapon” from JF-17 multi-role fighter aircraft on Tuesday 12 March. The experiment marked a great milestone for the country as the weapon has been developed, integrated and qualified solely through indigenous efforts of Pakistani scientists and engineers, said a statement issued by the PAF. “The successful trial has provided JF-17 Thunder a very potent and assured day and night capability to engage variety of targets with pinpoint accuracy,” it added. Lauding the efforts of Pakistani scientists and engineers, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan congratulated the PAF personnel on the achievement of this monumental indigenous capability. “Pakistan is a peace loving nation but if subjected to aggression by adversary, we would respond with full force,” he was quoted by the PAF spokesperson as saying.

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Roar of thunder: JF-17 upgrades to Block 3 as it tests a new weapon

(News Desk) About two weeks after the JF-17 underwent its first dogfight, the jet fighter is back in the news with major developments. The development and production of JF-17 Block 3 are underway aimed at enhancing its “informatized warfare” capability and weapons, Chief Designer of the China-Pakistan co-developed fighter jet, Yang Wei said. All related work is being carried out to upgrade the JF-17 Block’s informatized warfare and weapons, according to a report of China Aviation News. Wei Dongxu, a Beijing based military analyst told Global Times that the JF-17 Block 3 is likely to be fitted with an active electronically scanned array radar, which can gather more information in combat, enabling the fighter jet to engage from a farther range and attack multiple targets at the same time. It is in competition against the Indian-made Tejas and the South Korean F-50. With an initial purchase of 12 units, Malaysia is also looking to have an option for an additional 24 units in the future. A helmet-mounted display and sight system could also allow pilots to aim whatever he sees. Pakistan, the main user of the JF-17 could further share information between the fighter and other platforms taking advantage of the whole combat system to effectively defend against strong opponents, Wei said. With the new upgrade, the JF-17 Block 3 will match an improved version of the F-16 fighter jet, he added. JF-17, or the FC-1, is a single-engine multi-role light fighter jet jointly developed by China and Pakistan for export.

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The Non-Military Pre-emptive Surgical Strike (NPSS) General Mirza Aslam Beg | Former COAS, Pakistan

The Indian Defense Secretary explained to the press:

“NPSS means that a military target has not been hit because hitting a military target would be construed as an act of war.”

Similarly , our military spokesman said:

“Our air defense did spot the Indian aircrafts intruding across the    L of C but did not engage them because no military targets were engaged.”

There appear to be the logic between the two concepts to limit the surgical strikes, developing into a full fledged war. Yet what happened last night at the working boundary is amazing. In response to Indian ingress, Pakistani ground troops knock-out half a dozen Indian posts, killing a number of enemy soldiers. This morning two Indian aircrafts intruded into our territory, in support of the Indian ground troops. Our fighter aircrafts took no time to shoot them down. One of their pilots has been captured.

The previous night our fighter aircrafts took-off from Nur Khan Air Base to cover ten minutes nautical miles distance in a record time of two minutes, to engage Indian aircrafts at Balakot. Indian aircrafts were being provided security cover, from across the borders by SU-30 aircrafts, armed with Israeli missiles with a range of 80xkm. The 4xmirage 2000 dare not face Pakistani fighters and ran for their life, dropping the bombs and the fuel tanks, into the Atarshisha mountains, where I had been footing the area, on SSG exercises, during the period 1950s. My driver, Ghulam Mohammad comes from Jabba. He gave minute to minute account of the so-called Indian Surgical Strike at Balakot.

Well-done Pakistani forces, by giving a bloody nose to the Indian War Jingoism. May Allah bless you with greater success. Ameen. No doubt, the area selected for our surgical strike would give impetus to the freedom movement inside occupied Kashmir.

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Indian general credits ISPR on doing excellent work for Pakistan

LONDON: Retired senior Indian military commander Lt. General (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain has praised the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) for doing a phenomenal job in disseminating information, connecting with the masses and setting the correct narrative beyond just Pakistani sphere. The former General Officer Commanding 15 Corps (HQs Srinagar), Indian Army, was speaking at a seminar organised by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) on the subject of “Civil Society in Jammu & Kashmir: democracy vs terrorism”.

Rahul Roy-Chaudhry, Senior Fellow for South Asia IISS chaired the seminar and other speakers included Dr Shabir Chaudhry, President Foreign Affairs Committee of United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) and Nitin A. Gokhale, Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief, Bharat Shakti, India.

One of India’s most decorated military officers, General Ata spoke about the ISPR in his opening remarks and then returned to discuss it various times during the question and answer session. He retired in June 2013 as the Military Secretary, after 40 years of service in the Indian armed forces. In occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he served as the GOC 15 Corps, with headquarters in Srinagar, from 2010 to 2012. “I give full marks to Pakistan for the manner in which it has played out the information strategy. The ISPR has done an outstanding work for Pakistan,” he said in his speech claiming that India started losing narrative in Held Kashmir in the 90s and has not been able to wrest control.

He said that in India “everyone knows what the ISI is but nobody what the ISPR is” and only military professionals know about the ISPR. General Ata Hasnain said that the aspect of hybrid warfare has not been understood in India and authorities in India have failed to grasp that “the hybrid can only be countered by hybrid and not by conventional means”. He gave the examples of Iraq and Afghanistan where the Americans have spent billions of dollars but failed to achieve the desired results. “Hybrid in Iraq and Afghanistan should have been fought by hybrid but hybrid was fought by going conventional.”

He advised India to take a leaf out of Pakistan’s strategy and use information strategy, counter radicalisation to connect with Kashmiris if it was serious to address the causes of alienation.

He said that for the India-Pakistan relations Pervez Musharraf’s period of 2004-2008 was the best as it looked like that borders will become irrelevant and the issues will be resolved but then it became apparent that Musharraf’s formula didn’t have acceptance within the Pakistan Army.

General Ata said India has made many mistakes in its military approach but one of the biggest ones has been about “the Military-Civic Action (MCA)”. He added: “The MCA is not soft power. It’s not psychological. In 30 years, India has made many mistakes as far its strategy is concerned but one of the major mistakes is to think that the MCA is a psychological operation, it’s information operation. It’s not. “If anyone has taught us how to play information operation, it’s the ISPR of Pakistan who have done it marvellously, I would like to give it back to them, always. Credit to them.”

He claimed that India and Pakistan have been engaged in hybrid war in Kashmir where sometime India had upper hand and sometime Pakistan but “from 2012 onwards Pakistan got upper hand and the change of the generation and social media made all the difference. We didn’t know how to carry the information side of things but Pakistan has done it extremely well”.

He said that India has been thwarted in Kashmir by the rise of social media from 2010 onwards. He said the new generation of Kashmir used social media to promote “Azaadi” narrative and that has gone against India. He said that the character of Kashmir has changed locally from once being home to Sufiism and shrines to the radicalisation of these mosques and tremendous amount of passion at funeral of Kashmiris killed by Indian forces and religious affiliation.

He defended the use of hard power in Kashmir but agreed that it has not worked but said that in the end India will come to give up the muscular power and come to the soft power. Nitin Gokhale defended the use of power by India against Kashmiris. He said that India tried all other options but failed and then decided to use the harshest methods, including choking finances of the pro-independence leadership. He justified that India was right to use all kinds of methods.

Rahul Roy-Chaudhry told this scribe: “In view of the Pulwama suicide bombing attack that led to India and Pakistan almost coming to the brink of war, this session focused on key issues of governance, radicalisation, separatism, terrorism and the media in Kashmir, amidst looming parliamentary elections. It provided an opportunity to ‘look forward’, not ‘backwards’, towards political and regional stability.”

Dr Shabir Chaudhry condemned the illegal detention of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik and other Kashmiris. He criticised the Indian government for banning the JKLF last week. He said that use of hard power by India  such as pellet guns, torture and killings — had played a big part in the alienation of Kashmiris.

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Famous singer Shahnaz Begum passes away

KARACHI: Eminent singer Shahnaz Rahmatullah  known to most Pakistanis as Shahnaz Begum, who was loved for her flawless rendition of “Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan” & “Sohni Dharti Allah Rakhe “  died of cardiac arrest early on Sunday morning at the age of 67. According to Bangladeshi media, she was laid to rest at Dhaka’s Banani graveyard.

She is survived by her husband, a son and a daughter. Shahnaz Begum emerged as a notable singer in Dhaka during the mid-1960s, according to The Independent. She was born on Jan 2, 1952, in that city.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, she sang the memorable National song, Sohni Dharti Allah Rakhey, in addition to Jeevay  Jeevay  Pakistan.

She is the recipient of the Ekushey Padak in 1992 and Bangladesh National Film Award for best female playback singer for the film Chhutir Phande (1990).

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