Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Pakistan Counter-Strikes India; Arrests Two IAF Pilots: Pak ISPR DG

Pakistan Air Force (PAF), a day after India attack undertook strikes across the LoC from Pakistani airspace. “Sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self-defence. We do not wish to escalate but are fully prepared if forced into that paradigm,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

"PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace," said ISPR. — DawnNewsTV

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), confirmed the action via a tweet, adding that “in response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF [Indian Air Force] crossed LoC.”

“PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K [Azad Jammu and Kashmir] while other fell inside IoK [Indian occupied Kashmir]. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.”

While addressing a press conference an hour after his tweet, Maj Gen Ghafoor said that two pilots have been arrested.

“Today’s action was in self-defence; we don’t want to claim any victory. The way we set out target and made sure that there were no collateral damage; the in-built message was that despite out capability, we look towards peace,” said the army spokesperson.

“Today morning, Pakistan Air Force engaged with six targets at the LoC. Because we are a responsible state and want peace, we decided that we will not use any military target.

“As a result of engaging our target, no human life was affected. Staying within our jurisdiction, six targets were locked. And we carried out the strike,” said the army spokesperson.

“Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war,” he made it clear, adding Pakistan deliberately avoided escalation.

Regarding the upcoming meeting of the National Command Authority and potential use of nuclear weapon, the DG said: “I have always said that we must not talk about this. It is insane to talk about this. It is a capability and a weapon of political choice. Neither is this our level nor is this a topic that should be talked about.”

Avoiding human loss, collateral damage

“Pakistan has taken strikes at non military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage,” said a statement by the Foreign Office. “For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call ‘a new normal’, a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day.

“If India is striking at so-called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan. We do not wish to go to that route and wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation,” the statement added.

A day earlier, the army spokesperson said that the prime minister had asked everyone to get ready for every eventuality. “We are all ready. Now it is time for India to wait for our response,” he asserted.

“The response will come at a point and time of our choosing where our civil-military leadership decides, and as a matter of fact, has decided,” he had said, reiterating the statement issued after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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