Tag: Imran Khan

Is Pakistan PM Imran Khan fear mongering?

Imran Khan
Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says he is apprehensive of more military hostilities between India and Pakistan ahead of the April-May general elections. In an interview to the UK-based Financial Times, he said India is in grip of war hysteria whipped up by Narendra Modi led government.

“I’m still apprehensive, before the elections I feel that something could happen,” he maintained. He also blamed the “anti-Muslim government” in India and its heavy handed policies on Kashmir for Pulwama terror attack. He accused the Narendra Modi’s government of using the attack to build war hysteria and said Indian public should realise that Modi government is doing this for winning elections.

In fact, Opposition parties India tried to toe this line of argument following Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir and the airstrikes by Indian Air Force on Balakot terrorist camp in Pakistan. But in face of overwhelming evidence put out in the media, they stopped questioning the government fearing voters’ sentiment going against them.

Now few expect Imran Khan’s words to resonate with Indian public. He said “There’s Jaish-e-Muhammed in India, the boy who blew himself up, the 19-year-old boy, was a Kashmiri Indian boy.  His parents said he was radicalised by some abuse by the security forces. So it was an Indian boy, Indian operation, Indian car, Indian explosives. Why was Pakistan blamed?”

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit’s role in the terrorist attack on Indian security  forces on February 14 has been acknowledged and condemned by 59 countries. Jaish Chief Masood Azhar was to be declared a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, but for China support to Pakistan. However, several countries have put a freeze on Masood Azhar and Pakistan has been warned to take steps to curb flow of fund to terror organisations on its soil.

Now, his apprehension of military hostilities is intriguing.

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Why Pakistan couldn’t make Abhinandan a bargaining chip?

Abhinandan
Abhinandan Varthman

When the video showing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthman being paraded by Pakistani security personnel and civilians (with his face covered with blood) must have made a billion Indian hearts cry when it went viral in social media sites on Wednesday. For many, the memory of Captain Saurabh Kalia who was martyred in Pakistani prison was still green.

But come Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announces that Abhinandan is to be released on Friday. (He touted it as a peace gesture.) The move must have surprised many who had felt that the pilot would be used as a bargaining chip.

But analysts say that Imran Khan is making virtue out of a necessity. Pakistan had no option but release him at the earliest. Here are the points they offer in support of their argument:

  • Pakistan was under tremendous global pressure to do something to deescalate the situation
  • Abhinandan was captured at the time he was part of the squad that was pushing back a Pakistani aggression, with their F16 fighter jets intruding into air space to attack Indian military installations.  They even reportedly deployed laser guided missile(s) which narrowly missed their target.
  • Abhinandan was showcased as prized asset on Pakistani television screens, making the whole world take a note. Countries like the US and Germany called for his immediate release.
  • Hence, Pakistan boxed itself into a corner and had little elbow room to make the pilot as a bargaining chip.