South Asia: Pakistan’s Imran Khan again invites India for parleys

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By Muhammad Luqman

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again invited India for talks, urging the leadership of the neighbouring country to let the better sense prevail.

Addressing the nation , hours after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace  on Wednesday,  Imran Khan  said, “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. I know the grief the families of [those killed in Pulwama attack] have been going through.”

“Pakistan has itself suffered casualties in the past so we offered to cooperate with India. Because terrorism is not in Pakistan’s interests,” he added. “We had said that Pakistan would be forced to respond if India carried out aggression.”

“We didn’t take action yesterday morning because we didn’t know the full extent of damage. Otherwise it would have been irresponsible. That’s why we waited,” he explained.

PM Imran said “Our plan from the start has been no casualties for India. The purpose was just to show India that if they can enter our space, we can too.”

“The problem is, where do we go from here? It is crucial that India uses sense,” he asserted.

“My question to the Indian government is that with the weapons you and we have can we afford a miscalculation? If it escalates from here where will it go? It won’t be in Modi’s or my control. I once again invite you to dialogue. Let me say again that better sense should prevail. We should resolve our problems through dialogue,” he asserted.

Earlier today, the PAF shot down two Indian aircraft and arrested two pilots.

Spokesman of Pakistan’s armed forces, Maj General Asif Ghafoor has also held out an olive branch to India, saying that Pakistan wants peace and India needs to understand war is a failure of policy.

On Tuesday, Indian fighter aircraft violated the Line of Control in disputed Kashmir region as they “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force.

The incursion into the Pakistani air space entailed  a series of threats by Indian political and military leadership following the attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by a local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.

 

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