Thursday Feb 28, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said efforts for de-escalation should not be considered weakness.
Addressing the joint session of Parliament, 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 it 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. PM Imran explained, "The only purpose of our strike was to demonstrate our capability and will. We did not want to inflict any casualty on India as we wanted to act in a responsible manner."
"I had said that if India does something then we will respond," he asserted. PM Imran continued, "India violated the UN Charter." The premier said, "India gave us a dossier today, two days after they attacked us."
"Countries are ruined because of miscalculation. War is not a solution. If India takes any action, we will have to retaliate," he asserted.
Stating that the current situation is because of Kashmir, the premier said, "At one point, Kashmiri leaders had not wanted separation, but because of Indian brutalities, today all they demand is independence."
The premier questioned, "How long will Pakistan be blamed for everything in Kashmir? And asked to take action without any proof?"
Stressing that talks with Kashmir are important, the premier cautioned, "The situation should not get out of hand or Pakistan will have to retaliate."
“I hope the international community will play its part to ensure the situation does not escalate beyond this,” the prime minister added.
PM Imran also said he attempted to hold a telephone call with Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi last night to tell him we want de-escalation.
The premier announced, "We have decided to release the captured Indian pilot tomorrow as a peace gesture." Pakistan on Wednesday shot down two Indian aircraft when the crossed the Line on Control and captured Wig Commander Abhinandan.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also addressed the session and lauded the armed forces for their action against Indian Air Force warplanes.
"PAF fighters have made the nation proud," he said while adding that it has been proven that our armed forces will defend every corner.
The opposition leader warned that there can never be peace in Kashmir if occupied forces oppress citizens. "In this situation, I believe more Burhan Wanis will be born," he said.
Shehbaz asserted, "Pakistan should continue its diplomatic support to Kashmiris." He added, "We have to set our house in order to support Kashmiris."
"Kashmir issued should be resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris," he upheld.
“We should join our voices to convey a clear message to New Delhi and Modi that Pakistan is united and the entire nation is speaking with one voice. And off course taking all steps and measures to protect Pakistan’s vital interests. Pakistan will not tolerate any nonsense from the eastern border,” said Shehbaz Sharif
As the session began, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan tabled the motion to discuss the prevailing situation between Pakistan and India.
Addressing the joint session, former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf said Pakistan has itself been a victim of terrorism and laid thousands of sacrifices.
He maintained that war is an issue in itself, it does not resolve issues, adding that it would be a good gesture to release the captured Indian pilot.
The ex-premier said two nuclear-armed states standing in front of each other is dangerous for world peace.
Ashraf said the armed forces of Pakistan deserve immense tribute, adding, "Our forces responded [to Indian aggression] while at the same time avoided escalation".
"No one has ever rendered a sacrifice like we have; we should make the world aware of our narrative against terrorism," he suggested.
The former premier said Pakistan should register strong protest with Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
"[We] should not boycott the OIC, rather we should send our delegation to them," he said. "We should inform our friends, convince them."
Pakistan's armed forces are on high alert along the Line of Control (LoC) and ready for any eventuality, the military's media wing Inter Services Public Relations said on Thursday.
Contingents of Pakistan Army are on high alert along the LoC and prepared to deal with any Indian aggression, ISPR said. Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy are also fully alert, it added.
The military's media wing said, "During the last 48 hours, Indian troops have resorted to increased ceasefire violations in Kotli, Khuiratta and Tatta Pani Sectors along LoC. Pakistan Army troops have been responding effectively."
"India is continuously violating the ceasefire agreement," it added.
US President Donald Trump while addressing a news conference in Hanoi after a meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, opened his remarks by discussing the situation with India and Pakistan. "We have I think reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India," he said.
"They have been going at it and we have been involved in trying to have them stop and we have some reasonably decent news hopefully that will be coming to an end. It’s been going on for a long time for decades and decades. There is a lot of dislike unfortunately so we have been in the middle trying to help them both out, see if we can get some organisation and some peace. And I think that is probably going to be happening,” the US president said.