Pakistan Prime Minister offers to hold talks with India

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has renewed his offer to hold talks with India saying that better sense should prevail in the wake of escalating tension on borders of the neighboring nuclear-armed nation.

“I will say it again to you (India) that better sense should prevail and we should talk,” Imran said in his televised address to the nation on Wednesday after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets shot down two Indian Air Force jets in Pakistan territory and claimed to have captured two Indian pilots.

It was our plan to not cause any collateral damage, and not to cause any casualties. We simply wanted to show capability. Two Indian Migs crossed Pakistan’s Borders, and we shot them down. I want to now address India and say let sanity prevail.

“Our action was only intended to convey that if you can come in to our country, we can do the same. Two of their MiGs were shot down. Now, it is imperative that we act with wisdom and sense to resolve dispute,” he said.

“I wanted to take the nation into confidence over the developments since yesterday (Tuesday) morning,” Imran said.

I ask India, given the weapons capability on both sides, can we afford a miscalculation? It will neither be in my control nor Modi’s. We are ready to come on the table and talk about terrorism that affects both the countries. We are ready.

“We had offered peace to India after what happened in Pulwama. I understand the pain of the families [who lost family members in Pulwama]. 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.

“We know what war means. Since the beginning, we have asked India to share actionable evidence with us. It is nowhere in the interest of Pakistan for it to be used as a base for militancy,” he said.

“In my earlier speech I had stated that if India plays war games, we will retaliate. We waited, and today we took action. It was our plan to not cause any collateral damage, and not to cause any casualties. We simply wanted to show capability,” Imran added.

“I want to now address India and say let sanity prevail. Let’s think sensibly. All wars in the world have been started on miscalculations on the time and the human cost of war.

“This was the same with the First World War, with the Second World War, the war on terror, the Vietnam War. The history of the world shows us wars have always been miscalculation,” he asserted.

“I ask India; with our weapons capability…. on both sides, can we afford a miscalculation? It will neither be in my control or Modi’s,” he said.

Reacting to Imran’s speech, Pakistan President Arif Alvi, said that it was very appropriate, precise and compassionate message conveyed to India by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Pakistan wants peace; it is to ready to help in an investigation if any actionable information is provided. War has its own unmanageable dynamics, therefore sanity should prevail,” the president said on his official twitter handle.

Opposition leaders in Pakistan also showed solidarity with Imran. Ahsan Iqbal, senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) said: “All of Pakistan is on one page. We have expressed solidarity with the government and are with them on any action they want to take.”