Troops of China, Saudi, Turkey Join Pakistan Day Military Parade

Troops of China, Saudi, Turkey Join Pakistan Day Military Parade
Pakistan / Pixabay

China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are sending their troops to Pakistan despite Islamabad’s heated differences with India over the disputed Kashmir region. Chinese, Saudi and Turkish troops arrived in Islamabad to participate in Pakistan’s major military parade. Islamabad is hosting the Pakistan Day parade on Thursday, and its biggest ally in the region, China, is set to participate in a show of solidarity with its ally Pakistan.

China has sent a 90-strong contingent to Pakistan, including its Honor Guards, which are participating in Islamabad’s big military event for the first time. While Russia’s participation is yet to be confirmed, Turkey is also reportedly sending a military contingent to commemorate Pakistan Resolution of 1940 in Lahore.

While there have been reports of Russia allegedly sending its troops to participate in Parade Day and march alongside Chinese military, the reports haven’t been confirmed. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, have greeted Islamabad on the occasion of the National Holiday.

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Russia, China, Pakistan and Turkey have gotten particularly close recently, with many experts talking about a possible superpower bloc between the four nations.

Chinese, Saudi, Turkish Troops arrive in Pakistan

China’s Honor Guards are one of the key elements of the country’s massive military used in every significant national event. China usually showcases its PLA Honor Guards when the Chinese leadership hosts foreign leaders in Beijing. Pakistan has warmly welcomed China’s participation in Parade Day, according to media reports.

Several reports indicated that both Chinese military contingent arrived in Islamabad for the event, which will be held at Shakarparian parade ground in Islamabad on Friday. Pakistani authorities have significantly increased security measures ahead of the parade and even suspended mobile phone services and blocked roads in Islamabad during this week’s rehearsals for the event.

Army troops from Saudi Arabia, a decades-long ally of Pakistan, also arrived in Islamabad for the military show of might. Turkey, another Muslim country that has enjoyed strong relations with Islamabad lately, also joined the parade

The military parade, which is normally held annually, had been suspended for seven years until 2015, when Pakistani authorities resumed it following the Taliban’s violent December 2014 attack on an army school that killed at least 150 people, most of whom were children. The 2017 military parade comes a little more than a month after Pakistan was hit by a string of brutal terrorist attacks which killed nearly 150 people.

China, Russia and Pakistan superpower triangle

This year’s parade includes an enviable list of foreign guests. In addition to China, the Turkish Jannisary Military Band and Saudi Special Forces contingents have confirmed their participation. The Chief of the South African National Defense Force, General Solly Zacharia SHOKE, is set to witness the parade.

China’s participation in the military parade and Putin greeting its new ally on the Pakistan Day is a major development in the China-Russia-Pakistan partnership, which many view as an emerging superpower triangle. While China has been a close ally of Pakistan for decades, Russia started warming up to Islamabad only recently.

Last year, Beijing reaffirmed its diplomatic support for Pakistan when it stood by Islamabad’s side in its battle against India over the disputed Kashmir territory. Russia, meanwhile, backed China in its claim on the South China Sea and held joint naval exercises in the disputed sea, attracting an enormous amount of criticism from the West.

Russia started getting closer to Islamabad, China’s biggest ally in the region, in recent years and even held its first-ever joint military drills with Islamabad in September. For years, China and Russia have been particularly close due to their mutual interest to bring down the United States’ global dominance. Despite their decades-long friendship, Pakistan too seems to be distancing itself from the U.S. after Washington suddenly became very close to Pakistan’s traditional enemy, India.

China, Russia and Pakistan emerging as formidable nuclear force

China’s military participation at the Pakistan Day parade on Thursday and Putin sending his greetings to Pakistan is yet another indication that Russia is serious about its intentions to get closer to Beijing while courting Beijing’s biggest ally in the region, Islamabad, in the process. In fact, the new developments in the China-Russia-Pakistan partnership on Pakistan Day would certainly shape new theories about the emerging superpower triangle.

The China-Russia-Pakistan superpower triangle would not only allow Beijing and Moscow to join forces in their efforts to effectively oppose U.S. global dominance and bring down America’s extending influence in Central and South Asia but also fight terrorism and radicalism in the region. More importantly, the three nations could create a formidable nuclear front, as they have about 7,620 nuclear warheads combined, according to SIPRI estimations.

Moscow, Beijing and Islamabad have taken the recent spread of terrorism in Afghanistan seriously. The three nations have held several trilateral and multilateral talks in recent months, with some experts even saying that the three allies could stage a Syria-like intervention in Afghanistan to keep terrorism and radicalism from spilling into their borders.

India finds itself isolated in Asia

It makes the China-Russia-Pakistan superpower triangle no less confusing that Russia remains India’s biggest defense partner despite the fact that India is both China’s and Pakistan’s rival in the region. However, Russia has lost its enthusiasm about being friends with India since the Indian government started seeking closer ties with the U.S.

But with U.S. President Donald Trump assuming office earlier this year, New Delhi can’t be sure about Washington’s support anymore, as Trump has yet to outline his Central and South Asian policies. During former U.S. President Barack Obama’s term, the U.S. had plans to supply India with advanced military equipment, including sophisticated space and nuclear technology, to seemingly replace the Russian defense equipment New Delhi has received over the decades of its friendship with Moscow.

As of today, India can no longer rely on Russia or U.S. support. While this uncertainty in relations makes New Delhi isolated in Asia, the Indian government is no less concerned about reports claiming that China has plans to deploy thousands of marines to defend Gwadar Port as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which New Delhi heavily opposes as it runs through the disputed Kashmir territory.

Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
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