Islamabad - From the position of strength Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday once again offered an olive branch to India, saying with the kind of ‘arsenal’ both the countries have war could not be the option.
In a brief address to the nation hours after Pakistan Air Force shot down two MIG-21 Indian aircraft in Azad Kashmir Premier Khan said India and Pakistan could not afford any miscalculation and dialogue was the only option to address contentious issues. Before his address on national hook-up Imran Khan had also chaired National Command Authority (NCA) meeting wherein the civil and military leadership reviewed the overall preparedness of Armed Forces to tackle the external threat.
The meeting noted that being a responsible nuclear power state Pakistan would bring in use the minimum possible deterrence to counter threats to the security and integrity of the state.
“I ask India that with same weapon power, can we afford any miscalculation? We can’t, neither I, nor Prime Minister Modi,” Imran said once again asking India to come up with actionable intelligence of any Pakistani’s hand in Pulwama attack and assured all-out help in investigation.
He reiterated Islamabad would not allow anyone to use its soil for executing any terrorist activity in any country nor they would permit anyone to do any terrorist activity here.
Besides civilian members of the authority the huddle was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, services chiefs and DG ISPR.
The NCA is the apex civilian-led command headed by the Prime Minister to oversee the policy formulation, exercises, deployment, research and development, employment and operational command and control of the country’s nuclear arsenal.
In his address Imran Khan recalled that in his reaction to Pulwama attack he had offered complete support and cooperation to India for probing the incident and asked for provision of actionable intelligence but at the same time cautioned India to avoid any adventurism as Islamabad was forced to retaliate because they suspected that they would take some action owing to their political compulsions back home.
He said they could not allow any country to breach Pakistan’s territorial integrity and were forced to retaliate in the face of the Indian aggression.
“India is itself the Judge, Jury and Executor on the Pulwama incident,” he said and added that was why he had warned India that Pakistan would be forced to retaliate.
So, they were sucked in the situation and Islamabad was left with no choice but to retaliate following the Tuesday’s breach of country’s sovereignty by Indian planes. But even then they showed restraint and first evaluated the damage caused by the dumping of payload by Indian planes near Balakot and only intruded the Indian airspace just to make them realise that they have capability to hit back. They had not hit the military establishment on Indian side just to avoid collateral damage as they had not suffered the same in Indian intrusion of Pakistan’s territory.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan Wednesday shot down two Indian Mig-21 fighter aircraft when they again intruded into Pakistan’s airspace and captured their pilot in its own territory.
He directly asked India, “now from here where both the states will head.” “Let’s to come and sit across the table and resolve all issues through dialogue as war was no solution.”
Prime Minister said, “Better sense should prevail .... we need to sit down to resolve our issues through dialogue.”
The Prime Minister said it was important for Pakistan and India to exhibit prudence and sanity as all big wars had happened because of miscalculations. Referring to the World War I it was assumed it would be over in six months but it stretched for six years. Similarly in World War II Hitler moved to conquer Russia but did not know would be trapped in severe winter. Vietnam War and the US invasion of Afghanistan that spanned over 17 years were all result of miscalculations.
He said Pakistan had repeatedly asked India to cooperate, if they had any evidence on the Pulwama incident Islamabad was ready to respond.
He said despite his assurance, he had the doubt that India would not listen to his advice, keeping in view its forthcoming general election. He said he had warned India that Pakistan would be forced to retaliate in case of any misadventure.
He said Pakistan had offered India cooperation, “as it was not in Pakistan’s interest to let its soil be used against any other country, and also use of someone else’s soil against Pakistan. There is no disagreement on this.”
Imran said Pakistan was fully prepared, as it had doubts that India would indulge in a misadventure after the Pulwama incident.