Abhinandan not released under pressure, FM Qureshi asserts
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday firmly rejected the impression that captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was released due to any pressure or as a compulsion.
In an interview with BBC, the foreign minister said, “Pakistan will not allow anti-state elements to risk the peace of the country or the region. We plan on taking action against extremist groups.”
Pakistan will not allow any militia or militant organisation to use weapons or to spread terrorism from its soil. If any group does this, then the government plans to take action against them, Qureshi added.
Regarding the release of captured Indian pilot Abhinandan, the foreign minister said, “There was no pressure on Pakistan to release him nor any compulsion.”
The Pakistani government wanted to convey to India that “we do not want to increase your sorrow, we do not want your citizens to be miserable, we want peace.”
Pakistan does not want the peace of the region to be risked over politics, Qureshi continued.
It is worth mentioning that Pakistani officials handed over Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to Indian counterparts at Wahga Border crossing, on Friday’s night.
The release of pilot Abhinandan was a gesture of peace from Pakistan, in order to de-escalate the soaring tensions with New Delhi.
The announcement to release the captured pilot was made on Thursday by Prime Minister Imran Khan during a joint session of parliament.