A Pakistani lawmaker, recalling the IAF officer Abhinandan episode in February 2019, claimed that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “legs were shaking” while Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a meeting of parliamentary leaders that India was about to attack their country.
The Imran Khan government had decided to release IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in the events following Balakote strike on terror camps in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
In a speech in the National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said Foreign Minister Qureshi had in an important meeting pointed out that if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan “that night by 9 pm.”
The PML-N leader told opposition leaders that Qureshi in a meeting with the parliamentary leaders, including PPP and PML-N and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, had asked for Wing Commander Varthaman’s release.
“I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting which Imran Khan had refused to attend and General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. Foreign Minister said for god’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm,” Sadiq recounted the events.
Dunya News quoted Sadiq as saying that the opposition supported the government on all issues including Wing Commander Varthaman, but would not be able to further support it.
Wing Commander Varthaman’s fighter jet was downed while pursuing a Pakistani fighter jet during a dogfight, a day after India launched an airstrike on a terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which claimed a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 soldiers. A Pakistani F-16 was also shot down.
Wing Commander Varthaman returned to India via Attari-Wagah border on March 1, 2019. He was awarded the Vir Chakra on Independence Day by President Ram Nath Kovind for his exemplary bravery.
BJP chief JP Nadda quickly latched on to the opportunity to hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over what he said what their attitude towards the Indian Army, government and the country’s citizens. He used the Ayaz Sadiq video in his remarks against the Congress.
“Congress’ princeling does not believe anything Indian, be it our Army, our government, our citizens. So, here is something from his ‘Most Trusted Nation’, Pakistan. Hopefully now he sees some light…” Nadda tweeted.
“Congress premised its entire campaign around keeping our armed forces weak. They mocked our armed forces, questioned their valour and tried every trick to ensure India doesn’t get latest Rafale planes. The people India rejected such politics and punished Congress,” the BJP leader said as he also posted the video of Sadiq.