Pakistan gave an “effective response to India” but the risk of a possible retaliation was “still present”, the Army chief said Wednesday during an in-camera briefing to the parliamentary leaders on New Delhi’s aggression and Islamabad’s response.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said so as he addressed the Parliament House in the capital city where Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor were also present.
Gen Bajwa stressed that while the forces were fully ready to defend the country against any possible untoward event, none of the Pakistan Air Forces’ (PAF) warplanes had violated the Line of Control.
The leaders of the international powers have expressed serious concerns about the rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian nations, the Army chief mentioned, and that they were playing their required role in a bid to deescalate.
The COAS related that Prime Minister Imran Khan had once again invited India for peace talks and urged for better sense to prevail.
“We want to come to the table and talk about terrorism that affects us both. We are ready. Let better sense prevail,” Khan had noted.
Gen Bajwa said he hoped that India would act sensibly and take the premier’s offer for another chance at peace to be a positive step.
Others present in the meeting comprised Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader in the National Assembly and former chief minister of Punjab, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, as well as a delegation of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — including former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahidullah Khan, Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Sanaullah, and Marriyum Aurangzeb — and another of the PPP, including Khursheed Shah, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Naveed Qamar, Sherry Rehman, Saleem Mandviwala, and Raza Rabbani.