Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday welcomed the restoration of ceasefire along the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC) and said that the country remains ready for peace talks.
“We have always stood for peace and remain ready to move forward to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue” Pakistani premier said in a tweet. “The onus of creating an enabling environment for further progress rests with India. India must take necessary steps to meet the long-standing demand and right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination according to UNSC resolutions,” he said.
PM Imran Khan’s tweet came two days after the director generals of military operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India agreed to enforce the ceasefire and on the day Pakistan is marking the second anniversary of Operation Swift Retort.
Recalling Pakistan’s response against Indian military adventure and airspace violation on February 27, 2019, PM Imran Khan said that the country “responded with determined resolve… and also demonstrated to the world Pakistan’s responsible behaviour in the face of India’s irresponsible military brinkmanship, by returning the captured Indian pilot.”
On February 27, 2019, a day after the Balakot attack, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) retaliated, shooting down two Indian aircraft, a MiG-21 and a SU-30, and capturing Indian pilot wing commander Abhinandan, whose aircraft had crashed inside Pakistan’s territory. The downed Indian pilot was released the next day as a “peace gesture” by Pakistan’s prime minister.
“The whole world witnessed that Pakistan not only resolutely safeguarded its territorial sovereignty, but also acted with tremendous restraint and responsibility” Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday. Pakistan stands “united against any threat or misadventure and will always act with an iron resolve to protect and preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan” he added.
Islamabad marked the second anniversary of Operation Swift Retort on Saturday in Islamabad. “We want to live in peace but if our sovereignty is challenged, our response would always be Swift and Resolute as it was on 27 February 2019” PAF Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan said at the ceremony.