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Pakistan Wants Peace: Asif Ghafoor

by Newsweek Pakistan

Pakistan Army spokesman says Islamabad has acted responsibly and urges India to pursue peace through dialogue

Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday told a press conference that Pakistan wants peace and India needs to understand war offers no solutions to the current standoff.

Confirming to journalists that the Pakistan Air Force had shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, the Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said six targets across the Line of Control had been engaged from within Pakistani airspace. He said the Indian actions of Feb. 26 had left the PAF with no choice but to respond. “Pakistan’s armed forces have the capability, will, resolve and nation’s support,” he said, “But as a responsible state that wants peace, we decided first of all that we won’t strike any military targets.

“Secondly we decided that there be no loss of life or collateral damage in our choice of targets. Our planes locked targets and then opened fire responsibly from a safe distance,” he said. “We have the capability but we don’t want any escalation. We don’t want to go toward war,” he stressed.

The Army spokesman said two Indian jets had entered Pakistani airspace after Pakistan’s strike and 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.

He denied Indian media reports that a Pakistani F-16 jet had been shot down, adding that no F-16s were used today.

“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,” he said. “The people of both countries and the region at large have a right to live in peace. War is not the solution to problems. India should think with a cool head on this offer from Pakistan.” He added: “Starting a war is easy, but where it ends, nobody knows.”

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