An interesting event on Defence Day this year.
The prime minister was invited and made an extempore speech/sermon.
The incumbent defence minister was also present but so was the last man, Khwaja Asif. Television audiences wouldn’t have seen him because the military were the only videographers at the event.
Leader of opposition Shehbaz Sharif was also there, nervous and sweaty.
A politician completely in his element was Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Smiling and jubilant, he was flanked by soldiers and servicemen, all lining up to take selfies with him.
A relatively lower level reception for US Secretary of State Pompeo. A senior Foreign Office official, not even the foreign minister.
Lest the analysts start taking this as a sign of the time, regarding a reorientation of Pakistani foreign policy from the US towards China, roughly the same protocol was observed with the visiting Chinese foreign minister.
Conjectures abound about whether the Chinese are being sent a message for wanting some of their CPEC money back or is it perhaps some tough love being shown to the Americans?