Monday May 23, 2022

Responsibility lies with India for peace progress: PM

By our correspondents
February 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI/LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday welcomed the restoration of the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and said the onus of creating an enabling environment for further progress rested with India.

The prime minister said, “I congratulate the entire nation & salute our Armed Forces on the 2nd Anniversary of our response to India's illegal, reckless military adventure of air strikes against Pakistan. As a proud & confident nation, we responded with determined resolve at a time & place of our choosing”.

“We also demonstrated to the world Pakistan’s responsible behaviour in the face of India's irresponsible military brinkmanship, by returning the captured Indian pilot. We have always stood for peace & remain ready to move forward to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue,” he noted.

In a series of tweets to mark the second anniversary of Pakistan’s response to India’s illegal, reckless military adventure of air strikes against Pakistan and how a proud and confident nation, Pakistan responded with determined resolve at a time and placing of its choosing, he also called on India to take necessary steps to meet the long-standing demand and right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination according to UNSC resolutions.

“I welcome restoration of the ceasefire along the LoC. The onus of creating an enabling environment for further progress rests with India. India must take necessary steps to meet the long-standing demand & right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination acc to UNSC resolutions,” he wrote. While, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan on Saturday said that Pakistan wants peace but if its sovereignty is challenged, the response would always be swift and resolute as it was on February 27, 2019. “We want to live in peace but if our sovereignty is challenged, our response would always be Swift and Resolute as it was on 27 February, 2019” said the Air Chief while addressing a ceremony held at Air Headquarters, Islamabad to commemorate the second anniversary of PAF’s resounding victory in “Operation Swift Retort”.

The Air Chief said that PAF maintained its operational readiness to deter aggression, despite the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic. He also observed that Pakistan is confronted with varied challenges including a hybrid war, which demands enhanced commitment and vigilance. “PAF endeavours to augment its capability in all spectrums of operations while pursuing modernisation through indigenous efforts,” he maintained

Former air chiefs and a large number of PAF officials witnessed the ceremony.

Earlier, a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Air Force presented the guard of honour.

Another important event of the ceremony was a spectacular fly past by two formations of PAF fighter aircraft including F-16, JF-17, F-7 and Mirage. The ceremony was rounded off with soulful performance by the young students of Fazaia School and College.

As the nation celebrated completion of two years of victory over India, Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar on Saturday said February 27, 2019 is testament that Pakistan armed forces would always defend the motherland against all threats.

He observed it is not numbers but courage and will of resilient nation that triumphs in the end. “Pakistan stands for peace but when challenged, shall respond with full might,” the spokesman of Pakistan Army said.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security, Dr Moeed Yousuf has saluted the tireless vigil of the armed forces which kept the nation safe and defended the motherland. “I especially salute our brave soldiers, sailors and airmen whose tireless vigil keeps the nation safe and defends every inch of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Rawlakot district of Azad Kashmir echoed with slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and ‘Armed Forces Zindabad’ on Saturday as the PTI leader Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan and Member of AJK Assembly Sardar Sagheer Khan led a rally to express solidarity with Pak Armed Forces.

Thousands of people later gathered at venue of public rally, organised by Tehreek Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing the gathering, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan, who arrived at the venue while leading a big car rally, said that Pakistanis and Kashmiris were united for freedom of Occupied Kashmir from occupation of India.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said Saturday that February 27 is the day of pride and glory of the entire Pakistani nation. “The eagles of Pakistan Air Force ‘showed stars’ to the enemy during the day and raised the head of the entire nation with pride,” Senator Shibli Faraz said in a tweet.

The minister writes, “Pakistan is a proponent of peace in the region but is fully capable of a crushing response to any aggression”.

While, Senior Minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan has said that February 27 is a day to remember the bravery and courage of our Army when two years ago our ‘Jawans" set a new example of defending the motherland and the numerical majority could do nothing in front of Pak Air Force (PAF).

In a post on microblogging site on Saturday, Abdul Aleem Khan said that two years after the downing of the Indian plane, today the whole nation salutes its soldiers and commends the determination of the Army, which has full capability to defeat the enemy. He said that Pakistan will defend its motherland in the same way when even the time comes. He said that February 27 is a day of pride for Pakistanis.