‘Ready For Talks’, Says Imran Khan As Border Tension Escalates


ISLAMABAD — Amid heightened tension across the border, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday offered to defuse tensions with India and resolve the issues through talks.

“All wars in world history have been miscalculated; those who started the wars did not know where it would end,” Imran Khan said in a live TV address.

“So, I want to ask India, with the weapons you and we have, can we afford miscalculation?,” he asked.

“If a war takes place, it will not be in my or (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi’s control. If you want any kind of talks on terrorism, we are ready. Better sense must prevail. We should sit down and talk,” he said.

In his TV address, Imran Khan claimed that two Indian MiGs crossed the Line of Control and that they were shot down.

“Our action was only intended to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same. Two of their MiGs were shot down (in the ensuing action),” he said.

He said that he had expected India to attack Pakistan after the Pulwama attack. Khan said, “I had an apprehension that India would take some action. That is why in my earlier speech I had stated that if India takes action, then we will retaliate. Because no sovereign country will allow another country to attack it. I was also apprehensive because India have elections. That’s why when India took against yesterday, we waited today we took action.”

He said that his forces did not retaliate yesterday because it wanted to ascertain the damage caused by the Indian Air Force. He said that it would have been wrong for his country to inflict casualties on India when the Indian Air Force did not cause any casualties in its air strikes.

“It was our plan to not cause any collateral damage, and not to cause any casualties. We simply wanted to show capability, he said.

Khan said that his forces had shot down two Indian MiG planes and taken two pilots captive. He said, “Two Indian MiGs crossed Pakistan’s borders, and we shot them down. I also want to state that the pilots are with us.”

He told Pakistani people that the purpose of his address to the nation was to keep them informed about the tension with India. Khan continued, “I wanted to take you into confidence regarding the situation arising since yesterday. We offered India that we are ready to cooperate with them in any kind of investigation after the Pulwama attack.”

Stating that Pakistan itself was a victim of terrorism, Khan said, “We know how the families of those killed in Pulwama incident must have felt. We’ve lost more than 70,000 people in the last 10 years. We have been the victims of war for decades. I have been to hospitals visiting survivors of bomb attacks, the ones who are left behind, who are maimed and left crippled. We know what war means. That’s why we made a direct offer to India that if you want any investigation and if any Pakistani is involved, then Pakistan is ready to cooperate with you whole-heartedly. The reason why I said this was because it is never in the interest of Pakistan for it to be used as a base for militancy.”


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