Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday said Pakistan has the capability to respond to Indian aggression but does not want war.
Addressing a press conference after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, the Pakistan military spokesperson said, “Since today morning activity has been ongoing at LoC. This morning PAF engaged six targets across LoC from within Pakistani airspace.”
Stating that the Pakistan armed forces and PAF had no choice but to respond, DG ISPR said the question was “how to respond” whether in “a similar manner as India or as a responsible country”.
“Pakistan’s armed forces have capability, will, resolve and nation’s support. But because we are a responsible state and want peace, we decided first of all that we won’t take any military targets.”
“Secondly we decided that there be no loss of life or collateral damage in our engaging of targets,” he added. “Our planes locked targets, then in open air we carried out strikes,” he continued.
“We locked all targets with accuracy, and when we had option to fire, we acted responsibly from a safe distance. We have capability to do anything, but we don’t want escalation. We don’t want to go towards war,” he asserted.
“After PAF decided on targets, two Indian jets entered Pakistani airspace. PAF was ready, faced them. The two planes were shot down. One fell in our space, another on their side. Two pilots were arrested. One of the pilots was injured and has been taken to CMH. He will be given proper care. Another is in our custody,” he added.
Refuting Indian media reports that a Pakistani F-16 jet was shot down, DG ISPR said, “Pakistan did not use F-16 in any activity today.”
The Pakistan military spokesperson stressed, “The state, government, armed forces and people of Pakistan have always conveyed a message of peace to India.
The road to peace goes through dialogue. Both countries have the capability and capacity but war is the failure of policy which India needs to understand.
We do not want to escalate and follow a path which leads to peace. The people of both countries and region at large have a right to live and live in peace.
War is not the solution to problems. India should think with a cool head on this offer from Pakistan. “
We don’t want to indicate any victory. There are no victors in war. I request media to report objectively, responsibly, to go towards peace. Our message is for peace, he further said. “Starting a war is easy, but where it ends, nobody knows.”
In response to a question, Major General Ghafoor said, “Pakistan not pushing for war. We engaged our targets in open air, we deliberately avoided escalation. We could easily have taken the original targets, but we did not do that.”
Regarding the airspace being closed, the DG ISPR said, “It has been closed due to environment.”
“Pakistan’s response is not a retaliation per se, but a demonstration of our capability, responsibility and will. It is now upto India whether they go towards peace, which is a requirement of the region. But if forced, we will respond.”
Major General Ghafoor’s press conference comes after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace.