Imran Khan Offers Dialogue With India, Offers to Probe Pulwama
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday, 27 February, offered dialogue with India to diffuse escalating tensions between the two countries.
On the events that unfolded on 27 February, the Pakistan prime minister said that “we had to show that if you come in our territory, we can also come into yours.”
“We had offered that if India gives evidence (of Pulwama attack), we were ready to cooperate. It is not in Pakistan’s interest that its soil is used by terror groups. There was no dispute there. Despite that, I had anticipated an attack by India. That is why I had said that we will be compelled to retaliate,” he said.
“When an action was taken by India, I spoke to the army and air chief (of Pakistan). We didn’t take immediate action because we were ascertaining the damage caused by the attack by India (on 26 February). It would have been irresponsible if we had caused any casualties to India without ascertaining that,” he added.
“We had to show that if you come in our territory, we can also come into yours,” said Khan in statement.
Asserting that he did not wish to go for war, he said that both India and Pakistan must have a dialogue to resolve the conflict.
“All world wars have had miscalculations. I want to ask India, can we afford such miscalculations? The kind of weapons we have, will we be able to afford a war? It’ll go beyond Modi's control, it will go beyond my control,” he said.
“I am appealing to India that better sense should prevail and we must have a dialogue,” he said.
India Ascertaining Pak Claims on Missing Pilot
Pakistan has used its Air Force to target military installations in India in response to Indian counter-terrorism operations but their attempts were foiled successfully, External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.
In a very brief press statement, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal RG K Kapoor, also said details are being ascertained about Pakistan's claim of having captured one Indian pilot.
The statement follows fresh confrontation a day after Indian Air Force launched a counter-terrorism action against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks.
"Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan's attempts were foiled successfully," Kumar said.
He said the Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly.
"In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side.
"In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts," he said.
Both officials did not take any questions from the media.