Amid rising tensions, Imran again invites India for talks

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Imran Khan - Pakistan
Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan

SRINAGAR — Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday again invited India for talks and urged that “better sense should prevail” amid escalating tensions between the two neighbours.

Khan’s comments came after an aerial engagement between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in which New Delhi said it shot down a Pakistan fighter jet but lost one of its MiG-21s, with its pilot reportedly in Pakistani custody.

Khan said in an address to the nation: “I wanted to take you into confidence regarding the situation arising since yesterday. After the Pulwama incident, we offered India to cooperate in the probe. We know they suffered casualties.”

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“We offered India that we would investigate. We wanted to cooperate and were ready to do so. I feared that India would still take action and I had therefore warned India against aggression,” he said.

He added, “When India stuck yesterday morning, we spoke to our Army command and waited to take action till we assessed the damage caused.”

“Our action was only intended to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same. Two of their MiGs were shot down… From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom,” he said.

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He further said, “All wars are miscalculated, and no one knows where they lead to. World War I was supposed to end in weeks, it took six years. Similarly, the war on terrorism was not supposed to last 17 years.”

“I ask India: With the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford a miscalculation? If this escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s,” he said.

“We understand the grief that you have suffered in Pulwama and are ready for a probe and dialogue. Let’s sit together and settle this with talks,” Khan added. (IANS)

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