Pakistan never fails to shield homegrown terrorism with diplomatic decisions. Pakistan PM Imran Khan has announced that IAF Pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released on Friday. Khan made the announcement during an address to Pakistani parliament, saying it was the first step to open negotiations.
Interestingly, Khan’s surprise announcement during a joint session of Parliament came barely an hour after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Khan is ready to talk to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to de-escalate Indo-Pak tensions.
“In our desire for peace, I announce that tomorrow (Friday), and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody,” Khan said.
Prime Minister Khan said he “tried to call” the Indian Prime Minister on the phone Wednesday because “escalation is not in our interests nor in India’s”.
India on Thursday made it clear that IAF pilot Abhinandan cannot be a bargaining chip and New Delhi will not strike any deal with Islamabad for his release.
The joint session of Parliament was held on Thursday to discuss rising tension with India. The Pakistani Air Force on Wednesday carried out a retaliatory strike, a day after Indian struck inside Pakistan, destroying the biggest terrorist training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
Threatening India yet again
He warned if India moved ahead with the “aggression”, Pakistan will be forced to retaliate and urged the Indian leadership not to push for escalation as war is not the solution to any problem.
Warning that “any miscalculation” from India would result in “disaster”, he said, Countries are ruined because of miscalculation. War is not a solution. If India takes any action, we will have to retaliate.”
Khan, however, said that Pakistan’s “desire for de-escalation” should not be misconstrued as its weakness.
“Our armed forces are battle-hardened and they are fully prepared to respond to any aggression, he said.