Hours after an aerial clash between Indian and Pakistani air forces along the Line of Control, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said the “sole purpose” to carry out strikes across LoC was to tell India that “if they can come here, we can go there too”. In his address to Pakistan, Khan said two Indian MIG 21s which “crossed the LoC” were shot down.
“From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom,” he said, adding that the action was to “convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same.”
Citing the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed when an explosives-laden SUV crashed into a CRPF convoy on February 14, Khan said he “understands the grief” but “better sense must prevail” and the issue must be “settle(d) with talks.” Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility of the attack.
“We offered peace to India after what happened in Pulwama. I understand the pain of the families. I have visited hospitals and seen the pain of people affected by violence. We offered India that we would investigate. We wanted to cooperate and were ready to do so. I feared that India would still take action, and I had, therefore, warned India against aggression,” he said. Follow LIVE Updates
Iterating that war is not a solution, Khan said, “If it (tensions between the two countries) escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in Modi’s”. “All wars are miscalculated, and no one knows where they lead to. World War I was supposed to end in weeks, it took six years. Similarly, the war on terrorism was not supposed to last 17 years. I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford a miscalculation?” asked the prime minister.
Meanwhile, the Indian government has said Pakistan had used its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side in response to India’s counter-terror operations against Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in a pre-dawn IAF strike in Balakot Tuesday. Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully, the MEA said, adding that one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by IAF.
The MEA later said India lost one MIG 21 and one pilot was “missing in action”, adding that it was “ascertaining Pakistan’s claims”. Earlier in the day, Pakistan claimed to have captured two IAF pilots. The Pakistan army had released a video in which the pilot is seen identifying himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan