Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan celebrated its 60th Independence Day on Monday with President Pervez Musharraf declaring that no one could dare threatenthe country's sovereignty, and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz reiterating that Pakistanis had a "relationship of blood" with Kashmiris and that no power could separate them.

In a speech to a select audience of top government functionaries at President's House on the eve of independence day, President Pervez Musharraf said it made him both sad and angry to read statements about "tackling" or "punishing" Pakistan.

Listing the missiles the country has, President Musharraf said "Pakistan is a powerful country and we demand that others deal with us on the basis of sovereign equality."

He made no specific reference to the recent statement by Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh goading the Indian government to attack Pakistan to dismantle alleged terrorist camps, but said "those who think Pakistan can be kept suppressed with hollow words are mistaken."