Let’s not miscalculate: Imran Khan after Pakistan jets violate Indian airspace
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for dialogue with India in the wake of air strike by Indian Air Force and subsequent violation of Indian airspace by Pakistan Air Force.Updated: Feb 27, 2019 18:13 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday called for de-escalation of hostility in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack. In a televised address, Imran Khan said violation of Indian airspace by Pakistan air force was “a demonstration of our capabilities” after strike by Indian Air Force on Tuesday.
He said, “We didn’t take action on Tuesday morning because we weren’t aware of the damage caused by air strike by India. We did not want to cause much collateral damage in India when there was not much damage on our side. The only motive of Pakistan’s strike today was to demonstrate that we have the capability to hit back.”
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He was referring to IAF strike on terror camps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The terror camp was believed to be the biggest training centre of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Tuesday said that the terror camp was targeted following “credible” intelligence input that Jaish was planning terror attacks in India.
The Pakistan prime minister said the country’s air force crossed the Line of Control (LoC) this morning to demonstrate its capability to carry out a similar exercise inside Indian territories. Three Pakistan Air Force aircrafts were reported to have violated Indian airspace.
Indian Air Force shot down one F-16 jet of Pakistan whose debris fell on the other side of the LoC, said Raveesh Kumar, external affairs ministry spokesperson. Other aircrafts of Pakistan Air Force were forced to fly back.
Kumar said the IAF lost one MiG-21 Bison in the “aerial engagement” with Pakistani air force jets. “One pilot is missing in action,” he told a press conference in New Delhi.
Imran Khan, in his statement, claimed that two MiG planes crossed the border in retaliation of Pakistan air force’s action. “They were shot down. The pilots are with us,” he said.
Further, Khan appeared to play down the impact of IAF strike saying “not much damage was done” in the exercise. He appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the issues through dialogue.
“All the wars have happened due to miscalculation. With all the weapons that you (India) and we (Pakistan) have, can we afford to miscalculate. If it escalates neither I or Mr Narendra Modi would be in a position to control its course. This is why I suggest that better sense should prevail,” Khan said.
Khan’s fresh call for dialogue comes in the wake of India’s effort to corner Pakistan among international community in the wake of Pulwama terror attack, in which at least 40 soldiers were killed. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
In his last televised statement, Khan appeared to ignore the claims made by Jaish. Pakistan has long denied its role in terror acts in India, which has handed it over several dossiers containing evidence of involvement of terror groups working from its soil.
First Published: Feb 27, 2019 16:11 IST