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

Editorial

Silencing the public
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Silencing the public

Acting as if it is unaccountable, it is now curtailing citizens’ digital rights without even bothering to come up with a justification.
Fitch’s concern
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Fitch’s concern

It warns that “near-term political uncertainty may complicate the country’s efforts to secure a financing agreement with the IMF to succeed the Stand-by Arrangement”.
Zoo zealotry
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Zoo zealotry

IN a bizarre twist of faith and fur, the Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist group, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has...
Open the books
Updated 20 Feb, 2024

Open the books

Irregularities have been so widespread that even otherwise impartial observers are joining the chorus of voices demanding a recount.
BRICS candidacy
Updated 20 Feb, 2024

BRICS candidacy

For Pakistan to successfully join BRICS or compete in other arenas internationally, the political instability at home needs to be addressed.
Pneumonia menace
20 Feb, 2024

Pneumonia menace

PANIC is on the rise as the alarming surge in pneumonia cases has created an explosion of headlines — sans...