India-Pakistan face-off: Tried to call Narendra Modi to convey we did not want more escalation, says Imran Khanhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/imran-khan-tried-to-call-narendra-modi-to-convey-we-did-not-want-more-escalation-balakot-air-strike-5605787/

India-Pakistan face-off: Tried to call Narendra Modi to convey we did not want more escalation, says Imran Khan

“I tried calling Narendra Modi yesterday evening. Because I wanted to make it clear that we do not wish to escalate matters any further. Not because we fear,” Imran Khan said.

India-Pakistan face-off: Tried to call Narendra Modi to convey we did not want more escalation, says Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran. (PID/PTI Photo)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said he tried calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening to convey that Pakistan did not want to “escalate” the matter.

“I tried calling Narendra Modi yesterday evening. Because I wanted to make it clear that we do not wish to escalate matters any further. Not because we fear. Our armed forces are battle-hardened. But it is not in the interest of either countries that matters must escalate. We sent a message yesterday. Through diplomatic channels involving various countries, the effort is to de-escalate,” Khan said. Read in Malayalam

Addressing a joint session of Pakistan Parliament, he said, “I told India that we would act on any actionable intelligence it can provide. …But instead of providing evidence, a war hysteria was created in India. And we began suspecting that something was going to happen inside Pakistan. …Now today they have sent a dossier on Pulwama. But two days ago, they committed aggression against Pakistan, violated international laws. They should have given us the dossier first and then if Pakistan did not act, they could have taken action. But then we realised that such atmosphere is being created because of elections.”

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He further said, “We decided not to act against Indian aggression because we learnt that there were no casualties in the attack. Despite public pressure we did this to avoid escalation. We behaved as a responsible state. Next day, just to show that we have the capability and will, (we sent our fighter planes). Neither was any damage caused, nor was any target hit. But when they were coming back, two planes from India tried to intercept it and fell,” Khan said.

“I want to say that Pakistan wants peace. We want stability and peace to ensure development. This tension does not benefit either Pakistan or India. …Nobody wins in a war. That too between two nations which have a very destructive weapon,” he said.

“Our desire for de-escalation should not be taken as a sign of weakness. Look at history. There was Bahadur Shah Zafar and there was Tipu Sultan. When it came to choosing between slavery and freedom, Tipu Sultan chose the latter. Tipu Sultan is our hero. If you push a community into a corner where it has to take such a decision, then a self-respecting community will fight for freedom. So today I want to send a message to Narendra Modi that do not push anyone in that corner,” Khan said.

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The Pakistan Prime Minister further said, “All this issue has arisen because of Kashmir. I want to ask the people of India whether they should not question the human rights violations and oppression committed on the people in Kashmir. Can Kashmir be subdued like this? It has become a movement. The more oppression they unleash, the stronger the movement becomes. Shouldn’t people of India ask why a 19-year-old becomes a suicide bomber?”