Pakistan freed Indian pilot Abhinandan from position of strength, says ISPR chief

RAWALPINDI: Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar has said that Pakistan decided to release Indian pilot Abhinandan from the position of strength as a responsible state.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Major General Babar Iftikhar said a statement was given on Wednesday last about the release of Abhinandan in a bid to distort the facts.
The ISPR DG said this statement is tantamount to making a controversial Pakistani nation’s victory against Indian aggression in February last year. He said that such a negative narrative has a direct impact on national security.
Major General Babar Iftikhar said that Pakistan’s decision to release Abhinandan was taken as a gesture of peace in the light of Geneva Convention, which was widely hailed in the world.
The DG ISPR said that Pakistan demonstrated well its resolve and capability in response to Indian aggression. He said India violated the international laws after the Pulwama attack, and India had to lick the dust due to Pakistan’s effective response. He said Pakistan shot down two Indian fighter jets and arrested Indian pilot Abhinandan.
Maj General Babar Iftikhar said that Pakistan’s success in thwarting Indian plans was recognised the world over and its gesture of releasing the Indian pilot was appreciated.
“Pakistani forces’ timely response scared India so much that Indian Air Force planes that had come to drop the explosives on the Pakistani people escaped after dropping payload on empty mountains,” said the DG ISPR.
He said that the Pakistan Army is a united force and there is no difference between rank and file of the armed forces. “Attempts are being made to create a controversy around the Pakistan Army as an institution,” he said.
The DG ISPR further rejected remarks of former Governor Sindh and PML-N leader Zubair Umar and said that he was the spokesman of the armed forces and would never speak ‘half-truth or half lies’.
“I have detailed what is true,” he said, adding whatever he had said regarding a meeting with Zubair Umar is on the record.
“There is anger over attempts being made to target armed forces and create a controversy around the victory of the country after Pulwama incident,” Major General Babar Iftikhar said while lamenting the recent remarks from the PML-N leaders.
The DG ISPR said that at a time when Pakistan is facing a hybrid war, it is important for anyone to act responsibly. He said that Pakistan’s military leadership is abreast with the security situation of the region and knew about the internal and external challenges facing the country.
The DG ISPR spoke about how Pakistan’s “alert and effective” response defeated India’s objective. He said that Pakistan’s civil and military leaderships were on the same page in responding to Indian hostility.
“We gave them a bloody nose and it is still hurting,” he said of the skirmish, adding that India had been embarrassed in front of the whole world after its attack had been successfully thwarted.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri has said that Pakistan had released Indian Air Force Pilot Abhinandan as a gesture for peace and goodwill, and ruled out any pressure in this regard.
He said this while responding to a question during his weekly press briefing here on Thursday.
Chaudhri clarified that the Indian pilot had not been freed under any pressure. He said Pakistan wants peace and stability in the region and release of Indian pilots manifests this resolve of Islamabad. The spokesperson, however, said that Pakistan is fully prepared and capable to take firm action against any misadventure from any country. He said Pakistan’s response of downing Indian planes was a manifestation of the level of preparedness of its armed forces against any outside threat against the country.
Responding to another question, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said new domicile and land acquisition laws in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are against the international law and the spirit of UN resolutions over the matter. He said India cannot alter the status quo of IIOJK.- TLTP

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