I reiterate that better sense should prevail: Prime Minister Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday afternoon addressed the nation and decision makers in neighbouring India to reiterate his message of peace and offer for dialogue.

The address came after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) successfully targeted non-military targets across the Line of Control earlier in the day to demonstrate Pakistan's aggressive capabilities, and shot down two Indian Air Force jets after they crossed the LoC.

An Indian Air Force pilot is currently in the captivity of Pakistan's armed forces. He has been identified as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan.

"I wanted to take the nation into confidence over the developments since yesterday morning," the premier said as he began his address.

"We offered peace to India after what happened in Pulwama. I understood the pain of the families [who lost family members in Pulwama]. I have visited hospitals and seen the pain of people affected by violence. We have lost 70,000 of our own and I know what those who are left behind and those who are injured feel.

"[On that basis], we offered India that we would cooperate. It is not in Pakistan's interest to let our land be used for terrorism. There is no dispute there. Yet, I had still feared that India would [ignore the offer and] still take action, and I had therefore warned India against aggression and said we will be compelled to respond because no sovereign country can allow that [violation of its sovereignty]."

"When India stuck yesterday morning, the army chief and I spoke. We did not respond in haste — we did not have a complete assessment of the damage cause and it would have been irresponsible on our part as it may have resulted in casualties on their side. Once we assessed the damage caused, we were ready to take action.

"The sole purpose of our action [today] was to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same. That was the only purpose of what we did," he said, referring to the engagement of non-military targets across the LoC.

"Two of their MiGs were shot down [by Pakistani forces] after they crossed over into our territory," he noted.

"It is important where we go from here. From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom," he continued.

"All wars are miscalculated, and no one knows where they lead to. World War I was supposed to end in weeks, it took six years. Similarly, the US never expected the war on terrorism to last 17 years.

"I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation? If this escalates, things will no longer be in my control or in Modi's," the prime minister continued.

"I once again invite you: we are ready. We understand the grief India has suffered in Pulwama and are ready for any sort of dialogue on terrorism. I reiterate that better sense should prevail.

"Let's sit together and settle this with talks," the prime minister concluded.

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...