'We have defended our borders': Politicians react to action by PAF

Cabinet and opposition leaders commend the armed forces' response.
Published February 27, 2019

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Wednesday — a day after India violated the Line of Control (LoC) — undertook strikes across the LoC from Pakistani airspace.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), confirmed the action via a tweet, adding that "in response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF [Indian Air Force] crossed LoC."

An Indian Air Force pilot was also arrested.

"Today's action was in self defence; we don't want to claim any victory. The way we set out target and made sure that there were no collateral damage; the in-built message was that despite out capability, we look towards peace," said the army spokesperson.

Here's how Pakistani politicians reacted to the action.

'It is the answer to the drama of surgical strike'

—Senator Sherry Rehman

Senator Sherry Rehman said, "It would be a surprise for Indians. As their pilot has been arrested [in Pakistani territory], it is obvious that they have violated our airspace. We have defended our borders."

"It is the answer to the drama of surgical strike."

She went on to add, "We don't want to escalate, but safeguarding one's borders is allowed under the international law. We need to pace up our efforts on diplomatic front."

"Islamabad should press our cause in the global community."

Commenting on the wider context of the incident, she remarked, "India is in a war frenzy, how could we bring her to the dialogue table? We don't think war is a solution. The international community should come forward to play their role."

"Kashmir is the core issue and cause of tensions, and the issued should be resolved."

'Push for sanity to prevail'

—Shireen Mazari, Minister for Human Rights

The minister tweeted in response to this morning's incident, commending the operation and calling for the international community to help de-escalate the tensions in the subcontinent:

"Our timing and our choice of operation - Now UNSC and India's applauders can push for sanity to prevail in a nuclear neighbourhood or continue applauding and encouraging Indian brinkmanship."

Earlier, she had tweeted: "[Prime Minister Imran Khan] had warned India [that] if they attack we will not think of responding, we will respond."

"Instead of asking for sanity and condemning India's dangerous brinkmanship, some in the [international] community applauded India for its attack yesterday. [We] had the right to respond in self-defence and we did."

'A great accomplishment for us'

—Qamar Zaman Kaira, former Minister of Information

In an interview with a TV channel, the former minister congratulated the armed forces on their success and pointed out that Pakistan was simply responding to an act of aggression.

"They have violated our territory, we have only stopped their attacks and defended ourselves. This is our right, and the government's decision to reserve the right to retaliate is absolutely correct."

"The arrest of the three pilots is a great accomplished for us. Pakistan is only defending itself, and we should be prepared for more actions by India."

'We have proof'

—Khawaja Muhammad Asif, former Minister of Foreign Affairs

"The people should be proud of our protectors. Within 24 hours, we have proved that whatever India was claiming was a hoax and that [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi is fooling his people to win an election."

Referring to Indian claims of targeting militant camps near the Line of Control in a strike on Tuesday, he said, "There was no camp here. They had no proof, it was all talk and within a day the veil has been lifted."

"We have proof and they only have allegations. We will give a fitting answer. God is our protector."

'No questions left about Pakistan's capability'

—Asad Umar, Finance Minister

In the wake of Pakistan's response to Indian reaction, Finance Minister Asad Umar has said that he "hopes that there are no questions left about Pakistan's capability and will to defend itself now".

This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate.