Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday that he believed in resolving conflicts through dialogue but it should not be taken as a “sign of weakness” of his country.
“As we showed India on Feb 27, 2019, when it chose to attack us, our armed forces backed by the nation will respond to military aggression and prevail at all levels,” he said. “We are resolute and unwavering in our commitment to the security of our country and our nation.” In the early hours of February 26, 2019, the IAF jets bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan and avenged the Pulwama terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.
An intense aerial confrontation ensued between both countries the next day, in which the Indian Air Force pilot was captured and later released by Pakistan.
The strike by India’s warplanes on a JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot and the Pakistan Air Force’s subsequent retaliation the next day triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
Khan said that he was in favour of addressing conflicts through dialogue. “I have always believed in conflict resolution through dialogue and diplomacy. That should never be taken as a sign of weakness,” he wrote on Twitter.
Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said that February 27 marked the third anniversary of ‘Operation Swift Retort’ when Pakistan’s armed forces gave a befitting response to “Indian failed misadventure”.
Earlier, the Foreign Office said that “Pakistan reiterates its resolve to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity at all costs.” “Pakistan is a proponent for regional peace and stability. At the same time, our desire for peace is accompanied by strong resolve and capability for self-defence,” it said.