‘Picking Sides?’: Ex-NSA On Chinese Fighter Jets Flying on Pak Day

Amid Indo-Pak tensions, China sending fighter jets to Pakistan is significant of their friendship.

1 min read
File image of Pakistan PM Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

India’s former National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon on Sunday, 17 March, hinted that China was indeed “picking sides” after Indo-Pak tensions by sending fighter jets to perform in Pakistan’s National Day.

The J-10 fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force's Bayi Aerobatic Team arrived in Pakistan on Saturday, 16 March, in preparation for a flight performance on Pakistan's National Day celebration on 23 March, Global Times (GT) reported.

Menon, who served as the NSA under former prime minister Manmohan Singh, took to Twitter to make the remarks.

A parade is scheduled on 23 March to mark Pakistan Day, GT quoted Pakistan Army Spokesperson Asif Ghafoor as saying via Pakistani media.

With Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as the guest of honour, the parade will also have contingents from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

In addition to the J-10s'flight performance, Chinese analysts also expect other Chinese elements at the Pakistan Day parade, GT reported.

The Bayi Aerobatic Team has performed in Pakistan in the past as well.

In November 2017, the team staged a "wonderful" aerobatic flight with J-10 fighter jets in Quetta, the capital city of Pakistan's Baluchistan province, GT reported, quoting Chinese media.

China sending fighter jets to Pakistan signifies the friendship between the two nations and comes amid tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February.

Recently, China blocked India’s bid to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist on the UNSC list, citing “technical” reasons.

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