Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq described the incidents of a meeting that took place after Abhinandan was taken into custody.

File photo of Wg Cdr Abhinandan in a blue suit looking at the cameraFile photo: PTI
news Controversy Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 09:57

A Pakistan Member of Parliament (MP) on Wednesday claimed that the ruling Imran Khan government had released Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman abruptly out of fear that India would attack the country. Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq described the incidents of a meeting that took place after Abhinandan was taken into custody by the Pakistani government. However, it is unclear if Ayaz Sadiq himself was part of the meeting or on what basis, he was making the claims.

"Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting which Prime Minister Imran Khan refused to attend. The Chief of Army (Qamar Javed Bajwa) was sent instead. His legs were shaking and there was sweat on his forehead and Shah Mahmood said, 'For God's sake, let Abhinandan go back or else India will attack Pakistan at 9 pm.' Though India was not attacking and nothing of that sort was happening, they bent their knees and sent Abhinandan back to India," Sadiq said, even as many in the Parliament opposed his remark.

Watch a video of his speech below.

Abhinandan returned home from Pakistan in February last year to a hero's welcome, two days after he was captured following an aerial dogfight when his MiG-21 was shot down. Pakistani officials handed over Abhinandan to Indian officials, including from the IAF, at the Attari-Wagah border.

Abhinandan was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after an aerial combat between the air forces of the two countries, a day after New Delhi had conducted counter-terror operations in Pakistan's Balakot.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a special joint sitting of Parliament announced his release as a "peace gesture". However, India had maintained that the Pakistani decision is in consonance with the Geneva Convention. The Pakistan government was under tremendous international pressure to de-escalate tensions with India and release the captured pilot.

Forty CRPF personnel were killed and many were injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district. 

With PTI inputs

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