Pak PM Imran Khan announces release of captured Indian Pilot as goodwill gesture

Srinagar:Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced the release of captured IAF pilot Abhinandan.

Addressing a joint session of parliament Khan said that Abhinandan will be released tomorrow.

Imran Khan said efforts for de-escalation should not be considered weakness.

The premier stressed, “All issues should be resolved through dialogue. Despite us opening the Kartarpur corridor, we received no response from India.”

“When the Pulwama attack happened, we were blamed within 30 minutes,” he lamented. “I’m not saying that India has a part to play in India but I asked them to share evidence.”

Lauding the Pakistani media, the premier said, “Indian media created war hysteria. Our media showed solidarity and acted responsibly.”

The premier said, “We had understood that they [India] will do something. India gave us a dossier today, two days after they attacked us.”

“I had said that if India does something then we will respond,” he asserted. PM Imran continued, “India violated the UN Charter.”

The premier announced, “We have decided to release the captured Indian pilot tomorrow as a peace gesture.”

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif  also addressed the session.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan tabled the motion to discuss the prevailing prevailing situation between Pakistan and India as the session began.

Earlier, PM Imran chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet and said  Pakistan is ready for talks with India on all issues including terrorism. The premier said, “Dialogue is the only way for peace and stability in the region.”

“I had made an offer to India to investigate the Pulwama attack and hold dialogue on bilateral issues,” sources quoted the premier as telling cabinet members. “Pakistan is ready for talks with India on all issues including terrorism,” he added according to the sources.

The briefing, held at the Parliament House in Islamabad, also had Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in presence.

Parliamentary leaders briefed on Indian aggression, Pakistan’s response

Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari attended the session along with party delegations.

“A special meeting of parliamentary leaders was convened at Parliament House today to brief national leadership on the ongoing security situation. The parliamentarians were briefed by FM (foreign minister), followed by DG ISPR,” read a press statement issued after the session. “COAS also interacted with the forum after the brief.”

It said the participants unanimously expressed that they stand united against any aggression against Pakistan and will support the government and its institutions unconditionally.

“They also expressed hope that those who want peace and stability will prevail, as war is not an option but a failure of policy,” the statement said. “National leaders of all political parties offered their services for the cause of peace and progress.”

In the end, the Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker thanked the leadership for their unequivocal support at the moment of crisis, the statement added.

A day earlier, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace and took a pilot in custody.

Addressing the nation after the incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again invited India for talks and urged better sense should prevail.

“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 miscalculation,” he asserted.

“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,” the premier urged.

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