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Web Desk
February 28, 2019

Pakistan to release Indian pilot tomorrow as peace gesture: PM Imran


Web Desk
Thu, Feb 28, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced to release Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday as a peace gesture.

The pilot was captured by Pakistani forces after his jet  was downed  on Thursday.

The prime minister was giving a policy statement  at a joint sitting of  both houses of parliament  convened to discuss  situation that has emerged after Indian intrusion of Pakistan's airspace .

The session is being attended by all the political parties in the   Senate and the National Assembly.

Policy Statement

He paid  tribute to the national and political parties for being united in the prevailing situation . He said even before being sworn in as prime minister in July, he had said that Pakistan would take two steps forward if India  takes one step towards peace.

The reason behind his statement, he said, was poverty in both Pakistan and India. 

He said on July 26 gave statement and followed  it by letter  to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but didn't receive  a encouraging response.

He said Pakistan was expecting  an incident ahead of  Indian election seeing jingoistic rehtoric.

Khan once again raised the question what his country was supposed to gain from Pulwama attack which India blamed on Pakistan.

"India started blaming Pakistan within half an hour after Pulwama attack," he said.

"After Indian aircraft violated airspace, Pakistan  waited to ascertain the damages  instead of reacting immediately", he said

Khan  said Pakistan showed responsibility  despite knowing people's sentiment after India violated Pakistan's airspace.

The prime minister acted against India and made sure there was no collateral damage.

"We took action just to show our capability".

He said on Wednesday he he tried to contact his Indian counterpart after the incident. 


He said Indian people should think what made a youngster to become a suicide bomber in Kashmir, referring to a suicide attack in Pulwama that killed over 40 Indian troops. 

"There is a need for retrospection in India," he said. "There is need for debate in India on Kashmir".

He said India seemed to  blame the Pulwama attack on Islamic radicalization which was not true.

The Pakistani leader said India should analyze  the phenomenon because  it had nothing to do with Islamic radicalization. 

 He said  the suicide attacks are results of  desperation and humiliation, citing  example form  Sri Lanka where  Tamil Tigers carried out several suicide bombings .

 The prime minister said  if India takes action against Pakistan after any future incident in Kashmir, Islamabad will have no option but to retaliate .

"Tension neither  benefits Pakistan nor India," he said.

He said Pakistan Army was  ready to respond on Thursday expecting a missile attack from India.

He said Pakistan and India should not even think of a war with kinds of weapons they  have in their possession.