ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced to release Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday as a peace gesture.
The pilot was arrested by Pakistani forces after his jet was downed on Thursday.
The Prime Minister Imran Khan was giving a policy statement at a joint sitting of both houses of parliament convened to discuss situation that has emerged after Indian intrusion of Pakistan’s airspace.
The session is being attended by all the political parties in the Senate and the National Assembly.
He paid honor to the national and political parties for being united in the prevailing situation. He said even before being sworn in as a Prime Minister in July, he had said that Pakistan would take two steps forward if India takes one step towards peace.
The reason behind his statement, he said, was poverty in both Pakistan and India.
He said on July 26th gave statement and followed it by letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but didn’t receive an encouraging response.
He said Pakistan was imagining an incident ahead of Indian election seeing jingoistic rhetoric.
Khan once again elevated a question what his country was supposed to gain from Pulwama attack which India blamed on Pakistan.
“India started blaming Pakistan within half an hour after Pulwama attack,” he said.
“After Indian aircraft violated airspace, Pakistan waited to ascertain the damages instead of reacting immediately,” he said
Prime Minister Khan said, Pakistan showed responsibility despite knowing people’s sentiment after India violated Pakistan’s airspace.
The Prime Minister acted against India and made sure there was no collateral damage.
“We took action just to show our capability.”
He said on Wednesday he tried to contact his Indian counterpart after the incident.
The Prime Minister said Indian people should think what made a youngster to become a suicide bomber in Kashmir, referring to a suicide attack in Pulwama that killed over 40 Indian troops.
“There is a need for retrospection in India,” he said. “There is need for debate in India on Kashmir”.
He said India seemed to blame the Pulwama attack on Islamic radicalization which was not true.
The Pakistani leader said India should analyze the marvel because; it had nothing to do with Islamic radicalization.
He said the suicide attacks are results of desperation and humiliation, citing example form Sri Lanka where Tamil Tigers carried out several suicide bombings.
The Prime Minister Khan said if India takes action against Pakistan after any future incident in Kashmir, Islamabad will have no option but to retaliate.
“Tension neither benefits Pakistan nor India,” he said.
He said Pakistan Army was ready to respond on Thursday expecting a missile attack from India.
He said Pakistan and India should not even think of a war with kinds of weapons they have in their possession.