Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, addressing calls by people on social media and in his government to award him a Nobel Peace Prize, said he "was not worthy" of the award.
"The person worthy of this would be the one who solves the Kashmir dispute according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and paves the way for peace and human development in the subcontinent," he said.
Supporters and fans of Imran Khan started lobbying for a Nobel Peace Prize for the premier following his announcement to release Indian Air Force (IAF) officer Wing Commander Abhinandan, who had been captured after his MiG 21 aircraft was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force jet Indian pilot. Addressing the joint sitting of the parliament on Thursday, the prime minister had termed the pilot release "a peace gesture".
Soon after the captive pilot was handed over to the Indian authorities on Friday, the hashtag “#NobelPeacePrizeForImranKhan” started trending in the country on social media website Twitter. Until Sunday, more than 300,000 people had signed online petitions calling for the award of Nobel Peace Prize to Khan.
On Saturday, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry submitted a resolution to the National Assembly Secretariat calling for Imran Khan to be given the prestigious prize for “his contribution towards peace in the region”.
The resolution said the prime minister had played a sagacious role in reducing recent tension between Pakistan and India which was created due to warmongering attitude of the Indian leadership.
It said that the aggression manifested by the Indian leadership had brought the two nuclear states to the brink of war, endangering lives of tens of millions of people on both sides of the border. However, the situation was averted due to its proactive and deft handling by the prime minister.
“Keeping in view his contribution towards peace in the region, PM Imran Khan may be given Nobel Peace Prize,” concluded the resolution.
Meanwhile, the PPP, which had also questioned the timing of the release of the Indian pilot, expressed its sorrow over the ongoing campaign. PPP stalwart Syed Khursheed Shah said in a statement that the country was still in the state of war and the information minister had started a campaign for giving Nobel Peace Prize to the prime minister.
Shah said that during the joint sitting of the parliament, the opposition parties remained in the forefront with a view to give a message of unity to the world, but the prime minister did not even meet the opposition lawmakers.
“The prime minister for whom you are running a campaign for Nobel Peace Prize did not even say hello to the opposition in the parliament,” he said.