Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has made a televised address to the nation soon after it emerged that his armed forces had held at least one Indian Air Force pilot captive. He warned his Indian counterpart to not indulge in miscalculation since the war was destructive for both India and Pakistan.
Addressing India, he said, “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 added, “I ask India; with our weapons capability…. on both sides, can we afford a miscalculation? It will neither be in my control or Narendra 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.”
He said that he had expected India to attack Pakistan after the Pulwama attack. Khan said, “I had an apprehension that India would take some action. That is why in my earlier speech I had stated that if India takes action, then we will retaliate. Because no sovereign country will allow another country to attack it. I was also apprehensive because India have elections. That’s why when India took against yesterday, we waited today we took action.”
He said that his forces did not retaliate yesterday because it wanted to ascertain the damage caused by the Indian Air Force. He said that it would have been wrong for his country to inflict casualties on India when the Indian Air Force did not cause any casualties in its air strikes.
“It was our plan to not cause any collateral damage, and not to cause any casualties. We simply wanted to show capability, he said.
Khan said that his forces had shot down two Indian MiG planes and taken two pilots captive. He said, “Two Indian MiGs crossed Pakistan’s borders, and we shot them down. I also want to state that the pilots are with us.”
He told Pakistani people that the purpose of his address to the nation was to keep them informed about the tension with India. Khan continued, “I wanted to take you into confidence regarding the situation arising since yesterday. We offered India that we are ready to cooperate with them in any kind of investigation after the Pulwama attack.”
Stating that Pakistan itself was a victim of terrorism, Khan said, “We know how the families of those killed in Pulwama incident must have felt. We’ve lost more than 70,000 people in the last 10 years. We have been the victims of war for decades. I have been to hospitals visiting survivors of bomb attacks, the ones who are left behind, who are maimed and left crippled. We know what war means. That’s why we made a direct offer to India that if you want any investigation and if any Pakistani is involved, then Pakistan is ready to cooperate with you whole-heartedly. The reason why I said this was because it is never in the interest of Pakistan for it to be used as a base for militancy.”