'Give peace another chance before it's too late,' PM Imran Khan tells India in address to Pakistani nation
"I wanted to take you into confidence regarding the situation arising since yesterday. We offered India that we are ready to cooperate with them in any kind of investigation after the Pulwama attack,” the premier said in his opening statement in his address on Wednesday.
Khan’s address comes in the wake of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shooting down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace.
"We know how the families of those killed in Pulwama affect must have felt. We have been the victims of war for decades. I have been to hospitals visiting survivors of bomb attacks, the ones who are left behind, who are maimed and left crippled. We know what war means," Khan noted in his address.
“Since the beginning we have asked India to share actionable evidence with us. It is nowhere in the interest of Pakistan for it to be used as a base for militancy. But I had a hunch that India would escalate, and that is why in my earlier speech I had stated that if India plays war games, we will retaliate,” the PM said.
“Pakistan has suffered casualties in the past so we offered to cooperate with India. Because terrorism is not in Pakistan’s interests," he added. "We had said that Pakistan would be forced to respond if India carried out aggression."
"We didn’t take action yesterday morning because we didn’t know the full extent of damage. Otherwise it would have been irresponsible. That’s why we waited," he explained.
“It was our plan to not cause any collateral damage, and not to cause any casualties. We simply wanted to show capability that we can enter your territory [without any fear].”
The prime minister confirmed that two Indian MiGs crossed Pakistan’s borders, and “we shot them down”. “I also want to state that the pilot is with us,” he further said.
“I want to now address India and say let sanity prevail. Let’s think sensibly. All wars in the world have been started on miscalculations on the time and the human cost of war. This was the same with the First World War, with the Second World War... the war on terror. The Vietnam War. The history of the world shows us wars have always been a miscalculation.
“I ask India; with our weapons capability.... on both sides, can we afford a miscalculation? It will neither be in my control or Modi’s. The hurt that has been caused due to the Pulwama attack, we want to come to the table and talk about terrorism that affects us both. We are ready. Let better sense prevail.”
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National Command Authority Meeting
Prior to his address to the Pakistani nation, the PM chaired a meeting of National Command Authority (NCA) which was attended by top civil and military leadership.
The participants of the meeting expressed satisfaction over the professional preparedness of the armed forces at all level.
The prime minister is the chairperson of the authority. Members of the authority are the chief of army staff, chief of air staff, chief of naval staff, chairperson of the joint chief of staff committee and director-general of the strategic planning division.
The defence minister, finance minister, interior minister, minister of defence production and foreign minister are also part of the NCA.
After taking the targets, according to the military spokesman, two aircraft of Indian air force violated LoC and entered into Pakistani territory. PAF engaged them and both of these were shot down, with the debris of one falling inside our territory and the other in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) February 27, 2019
One Indian pilot was also taken into custody who is being administered proper medical care.
There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics. pic.twitter.com/8IQ5BPhLj2— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) February 27, 2019
“We wanted to show to Indians that we are capable of doing all things, but not at the peril of regional peace. We are a peaceful country and do not want to go to war,” he said, adding that people of both countries, as well as the region, need to live in peace.
He urged the Government of India to consider our offer of dialogue with calm in order to take the region forward. “Pakistan gives a message of peace and India should accept it for peace and stability in the region.”
“Our action today was in self-defense and we do not want to claim any victory on it,” he further said. Maj-Gen Ghafoor urged the Pakistani media to continue its objective reporting and the one that leads to peace.
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