Islamabad: A Pakistani opposition leader has claimed that Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was released after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a meeting of Pakistan’s top leaders that India would attack Pakistan.
In a speech in the National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a meeting of parliamentary leaders that India was about to attack their country if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Varthaman “that night by 9 pm.”
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “legs were shaking” while Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a meeting of parliamentary leaders that India was about to attack their country, said a Pakistani lawmaker as he recounted the events of February 2019 meeting during which the Imran Khan government decided to release Indian Air Force pilot.
The PML-N leader told opposition leaders that Mr Qureshi in a meeting with the parliamentary leaders, including PPP and PML-N and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, had asked for Wing Commander Varthaman to be let free.
“I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. Foreign Minister said for god’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm,” Mr Sadiq recounted the events of the meeting.
Dunya News quoted Mr Sadiq as saying that the opposition supported the government in all issues including Wing Commander Varthaman, but would not be able to further support it.
Reacting to the controversy Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Thursday said viewing the decision to release Indian air force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan as anything other than “the mature response of a responsible state” is “highly regrettable”.
“Yesterday, a statement was made in which an attempt was made to twist the facts [regarding Abhinandan’s release],” he began by saying.
The DG ISPR was referring to statements by PML-N leaders during a session of the National Assembly a day earlier, where they had accused the government of releasing Abhinandan under pressure.
“On this decision, the entire civil and military leadership was on a single page. We responded with full might in the light of day and shot down two planes, along with arresting their pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan [Varthaman],” the DG ISPR said, recalling the events.
He said that the enemy was in such a panicked state that it shot down its own helicopter.
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