Don’t misconstrue our desire for peace: Senators tell India

PPP says govt must brief house on release of Indian pilot

Khalid Mehmood March 01, 2019
PPP leader Sherry Rehman. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Senators on Friday lauded the government’s decision to release Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Aninandan, who was arrested on February 27 after his airplane was shot down by Pakistan, but warned that India should not construe Pakistan’s desire for peace as its weakness.

The Senate on Friday discussed the situation that emerged after escalation of tensions between Pakistan and India in the wake of that Indian violation of Pakistan’s airspace on February 26.

Taking part in the debate, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman demanded that the house should be briefed on the terms and conditions on which the Indian pilot was released.

“We agree to the government’s decision to return the captured pilot. However, the parliament should be told about the steps India is taking in return. The conditions on which the pilot is being returned must be told. It must be told why the decision to return the pilot was taken so soon.”

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan was continuously trying to establish telephonic contact with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi but there seemed to be no response from them. India should at least respond to the call of Pakistani prime minister, she added.

The PPP’s Raza Rabbani said everyone is on the same page regarding the current situation. The United States wants to make India the policeman in the entire region. “RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] is involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan and India is continuing with the anti-Pakistan propaganda.”

Senate strongly condemns Indian intrusion of Pakistani airspace

He said the propaganda about Pakistan supporting terrorists and providing them safe havens is an absolute lie. The core issue between Pakistan and India is Kashmir but India is not ready to discuss the dispute. We need to stay united, he added.

Senator Rehman Malik said Modi’s war was not for his state or his nation but only meant for winning elections. He said the prime minister gave a good gesture by announcing return of the Indian pilot.

He said: “Imran Khan wrote a letter to PM Modi, but in return they staged an attack at Balakot. Pulwama incident is a well-planned conspiracy of the Modi government. We need to review our foreign policy.”

Malik said Modi only reflected his mindset by not attending the call made by the prime minister and Pakistan should respond to this by lodging a protest with the Indian High Commission. “Pakistani pilot Hasan Siddiqui should be given a prestigious award by the state,” he added.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said the Pakistani pilot rendered a big service to the country. “The confidence of the nation is restored after the joint session. We need to face more challenges and we are ready for them,” he said.

Senators Javed Abbasi, Azam Swati, Muhammad Akram, Mir Kabir, Kulsoom Pervin and others also participated in the discussion and warned India that Pakistan only decided to return their pilot as a goodwill gesture and its efforts for peace should not be mistaken as its weakness.

The Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani adjourned the session till Saturday (today) 3pm.


Uzair | 4 years ago | Reply Good job all of you. The armed forces, politicians, everyone. It is the first time in my life that I've been able to say this. When we, the ordinary people don't have to worry about you and trust you'll do the right thing, that is when you've actually succeeded.
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