BY HAMZA AMEER
Islamabad, Oct 29 (IANS) Pakistan’s Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar, has reacted to a recent political statement made by a senior opposition leader regarding the urgency of the Imran Khan-led government to release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, a day after the Indian Air Force fighter pilot was captured by Pakistani forces on February 26, 2019, stating that the political statement was aimed at distorting history.
In a press conference held at the general headquarters in Rawalpindi, the DG ISPR said, “A political statement given earlier about the release of India Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was an attempt to distort history,” adding that Pakistan remains ready to respond to any Indian misadventure.
“A statement was given yesterday which tried to distort the history of some issues related with national security. Today’s single-point agenda presser is being conducted to correct the record,” he said.
Iftikhar’s statement came a day after senior opposition party leader from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former speaker of the national assembly, Ayaz Sadiq, said on the floor of the house that the reason for the early release of Abhinandan was fears of an attack by India.
He referred to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who he said had briefed the parliamentary committee at the time about the reason behind the government’s intent to send Abhinandan back within 24 hours.
The statement fast became the prime debate in Pakistan as ruling party leaders slammed the opposition for trying to undermine the capability of the Pakistan armed forces by making such “irresponsible” statements, which they said are incorrect.
The DG ISPR, while addressing the briefing on Thursday, referred to the series of events that led to the confrontational level engagement between India and Pakistan.
“India showed aggression against Pakistan and violated all international laws on February 26, 2019, in which it was not only defeated, but also humiliated around the world,” Iftikhar said.
“Armed forces of Pakistan showed an alert and timely response and foiled the enemy plans. Enemy aircraft that had come to bomb Pakistan escaped after dropping their payload on mountains in panic after the appearance of our Shaheens (Pakistan Air Force),” he added.
Iftikhar said the world not only acknowledged Pakistan’s victory, but India put the onus of its defeat on non-availability of Rafale jets.
“We gave them a bloody nose and it’s still hurting,” he claimed.
The DG ISPR reiterated that there needs to be clarity as to how Pakistan responded to Indian aggression.
“I want to make it clear for the purpose of correcting the history that Pakistan first demonstrated its capability and resolve and the actions taken on February 27 were from a position of strength,” Iftikhar said.
“Distorting the release of Abhinandan and relating it with something else is not only unfortunate, but also misleading. It makes Pakistan’s victory over India controversial which is not acceptable to any Pakistani,” he added.
Pakistan military spokesperson said the enemies of the country have imposed a hybrid war, against which, acting responsibly is critical.
“Pakistan’s armed forces are not only aware of the internal and external challenges, but also ready to face them. They are aware of the regional security situation as well. With the help of the nation, the army will defeat any conspiracy against Pakistan,” said the DG ISPR.
“Any aggression will be given a befitting response,” he concluded.
BY HAMZA AMEER