The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jamali’s US visit cancelled

Islamabad, March 22 (Reuters): Pakistan, a key ally in the US war on terror but a strong critic of the war on Iraq, has cancelled its Prime Minister’s visit to Washington next week.

The Muslim nation also called off tomorrow’s National Day parade of military might, which traditionally includes its nuclear capable missiles, and a South Asian mini-Olympics because of the Iraq war. “In view of the sad and tragic developments and the deep anguish caused to the people of Pakistan, the government of Pakistan has decided to cancel the Pakistan Day parade,” the government said in a statement.

“In deference to the sentiments of the people, the Prime Minister, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, has also decided to postpone his visit to the US, UK and and France.” Officials are working to reschedule the visits.

Pakistan has deplored the war against Iraq and almost 10,000 Muslims, some toting AK-47 assault rifles, protested peacefully in cities across the country after Friday prayers, burning American flags and effigies of US President George W. Bush.

It is the second year in a row the National Day parade has been cancelled. It was called off last year because of a military stand-off with India over Kashmir that brought the two countries close to their third war. Pakistan had also been due to host the South Asian Federation Games from next Saturday to April 7, with teams from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka competing in 15 sports.

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