Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan on Monday once again conceded that India carried out the Balakot airstrike on Pakistani soil, and gave away how it had spooked his country by adding a ‘nuclear flashpoint’ element.
Speaking to a news channel, the Pakistan Prime Minister on record accepted that in retaliation to the Pulwama attack, India bombed the Balakot area of Pakistan, an event the country had initially denied, then came around to uneasily accepting. Imran Khan also added that Pakistan retaliated to the Balakot strike, and shot down an Indian plane, referring to the one- controlled by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. He also tooted his own horns for ‘returning’ Wing Commander Abhinandan in a bid to ‘cool down things’ with India.
‘India Bombed Us’: Pakistan Prime Minister
“We had a little skirmish in Kashmir- a suicide bomb went off in Kashmir- and their soldiers were killed and they kept blaming us. We kept saying that give us any evidence, we will hold those responsible, have them punished, and probably even hand over them to India. Rather than giving us the evidence, they (India) bombed us,” Imran Khan said on the record. The Pakistan Prime Minister added, “Pakistan also retaliated, and shot down an Indian plane. We immediately returned the pilot to cool down things, perhaps because it could have gone anywhere from there”, referring to a nuclear situation.
He added, “Once two nuclear-armed countries get into situation like we did, it can go anywhere. I actually addressed the United Nations too and told them that you came into being to solve this kind of a situation.”
IAF’s Balakot Air-Strike & Pak’s Face-Saving Denial
On February 26, a squadron of the IAF had crossed over to Pakistan and destroyed the largest JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to avenge the Pulwama terror attack which had been perpetrated by the Pakistan-based terror group and for which it took responsibility. In the aftermath, Pakistan had first denied that any such airstrike had taken place, and then claimed that the IAF’s bombs had missed their mark and hit a nearby forest, destroying trees and nothing more. However, Republic has accessed images of the facility before and after it was systematically destroyed by the IAF’s pinpoint bombing raid.
Not just Pakistan, even the Opposition in India had questioned the airstrike, which had taken place in the lead up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and was quickly politicised. While Congress leaders like Navjot Singh Sidhu