Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: 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 neighbouring 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.

"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 (since Indian jets violated the Pakistan air space to bomb an alleged terrorist camp)," Imran said.

"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 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."

Reacting on Imran’s speech, political analyst Nasim Zehra tweeted: “Wise and compelling message to India. Well done Imran .. you do us proud. Your maturity, wisdom and conviction in handling this matter is exemplary. All political leaders also wisely stand by the government.”.

Air Marshal (retired) Masood Akhtar said that Pakistan should now focus on mustering support of international community. Pakistan should raise the issue at diplomatic front at all levels to stop India from escalating the war. “Both the countries need to talk to each other to defuse the tension,” he said.