ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has demonstrated its first locally manufactured armed drone aircraft.
The drone was introduced to the public Monday as part of Pakistan's Republic Day parade, with officials hailing it as a key element in the country's ongoing battle against local Islamic militant groups. The annual parade itself had been suspended for the past seven years due to fears of terrorist attack.
State television coverage showed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain and army chief Raheel Sharif applauding as the unmanned aerial vehicle took off.
The Pakistani military has been fighting for years against Islamic militants sheltering in tribal areas along the Afghan border. The government is in the midst of a massive ongoing operation to root out these groups, with military commanders proclaiming widespread success.