PM expresses resolve, unwavering commitment to country’s security

“I always believed in conflict resolution through dialogue & diplomacy”: PM

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday reiterating resolve and unwavering commitment to the security of country and nation, said that the armed forces of the country, backed by nation, would respond to any military aggression in a befitting manner.

On his Twitter handle, the prime minister, while marking the third anniversary of Pakistan’s exemplary response to India’s ill-conceived and botched military airstrike inside its territorial airspace on February 27, 2019, said that he had always believed in the resolution of conflict through dialogue and diplomacy, but it should not be taken as a sign of weakness.

The prime minister posted“I have always believed in conflict resolution through dialogue & diplomacy. That should never be taken as a sign of weakness. As we showed India on 27 Feb2019, when it chose to attack us, our armed forces backed by the nation will respond to mly (military) aggression & prevail at all levels.”

“We are resolute & unwavering in our commitment to the security of our country and our nation,” he said in a related tweet. The epicenter of the Pakistan-India escalation was an attack in occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama on Feb 14, 2019, in which more than 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed.

The attack, surpassing one in 2016 when 19 soldiers died, saw explosives packed inside a van rip through buses in a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying some 2,500 members of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force.

Two blue buses carrying around 35 people each bore the brunt of the explosion around 20 kilometers from the main city of Srinagar on the main highway towards Jammu.

The next day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country would give a “strong response” to the Pulwama attack.

The “blood of the people is boiling” and forces behind the act of terrorism will be definitely be punished, he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Modi didn’t name Pakistan but went on to say: “If our neighbour, which is totally isolated in the world and thinks it can destabilise India through its tactics and conspiracies, then it is making a huge mistake”.

The situation heated up when Indian military planes violated the Line of Control, intruding from the Muzaffarabad sector. “Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled” and Indian aircraft went back, the ISPR had said in a statement.

The intrusion in Pakistani airspace by Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft had happened for a second consecutive day, as one of its planes had to release payloads in the Balakot area while being chased away in the early hours of the day. The Pakistan military spokesman had then promised “surprise” for India in response to the IAF aggression.

A day later, the IAF jets entered Pakistani airspace after the PAF strikes on the other side of the LoC from Pakistani airspace for, what the Foreign Office and Army had described as, a demonstration of Pakistan’s “right, will and capability for self-defence”.

The PAF strikes across the LoC were first announced by then FO spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal via a tweet. “PAF undertook strikes across LoC from Pakistani airspace. The 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,” he had tweeted.

Shortly afterwards, the then Pakistan military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor announced the shooting down of IAF aircraft. He had tweeted, “IAF crossed LoC” after the PAF strikes in India-occupied Kashmir (IOK).

“PAF shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJK while the other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on the ground while two in the area,” he had stated. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday recalling Pakistan’s heroic win over the adversary in the “Operation Swift Retort” praised the civil and military leadership for defeating all inimical designs against the motherland.

The way Prime Minister Imran Khan and military command led the response against the Indian aggression some three years ago, was a worth listening story, the minister said in a tweet while commemorating 3rd anniversary of the “Operation Swift Retort”.

Fawad said he felt lucky that he was part of the decision making process at that time.

The minister also eulogized the country’s heroes who elevated the nation’s pride by giving a befitting response to the misadventure of the intruding enemy. Their heroic response had now become the part of history, he added.

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