New Delhi: Chinese fighters have reached Islamabad to take part in the Pakistan Day parade, days after Beijing put a technical hold on the fourth proposal seeking a "global terrorist" tag for Masood Azhar, the chief of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
The J-10 fighter jets of the People's Liberation Army Air Force's Bayi Aerobatic Team arrived in Pakistan Saturday, at a time when tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi are at a new high in the wake of the 14 February Pulwama strike, which was claimed by the JeM.
The arrival of the Chinese fighters, even if to perform aerobatic stunts at an annual event, at this point is seen as a display of the growing military ties between the two countries.
Former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon noted as much in a tweet.
Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations, told China's Global Times Sunday that Beijing sending fighter jets to celebrate Pakistan Day is symbolic of the bilateral friendship, noting that Pakistan is an all-weather friend of China.
This is, however, not the first time the Bayi Aerobatic Team has performed in Pakistan.
On 19 November 2017, the team staged a performance with J-10 fighter jets in Quetta, the capital city of Pakistan's Balochistan province, where the Pakistan army is carrying out a military operation against secessionists.