The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader who said the army chief was shivering fearing an attack from India has been called a traitor in his country, with posters showing him with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman coming up in many parts of Lahore.
The banners, with text in Urdu, termed Ayaz Sadiq “gaddar-e-watan” (traitor of the nation). In some posters, he has been equated to “Mir Jafar” and “Mir Sadiq” — historical figures who are said to have betrayed Sultan Siraj-ud-Daulah and Tipu Sultan, respectively, in medieval India. Most of the banners also mentioned Sadiq’s legislative constituency NA 129.
In some of the posters, Sadiq’s face has been changed to resemble Varthaman’s.
Sadiq had said that after Varthaman was captured by Pakistan, army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was “trembling” and “perspiring” when he came to a meeting of the opposition parties called by the government, fearing an attack from India. In the meeting, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi asked Bajwa to release Varthaman saying if not India would attack Pakistan.
Pakistan has, however, denied that Varthaman was released due to the threat of India’s attack. “There was no pressure on Pakistan at all regarding the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan,” Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri had said reacting to Sadiq’s remarks, PTI reported. “The government of Pakistan took the decision as a gesture of peace, which was appreciated by the international community.”
On Friday (October 30), Sadiq defended his remarks saying he did not suspect the security forces’ valour, but only questioning the leadership of Pakistan which is afraid of India. “I have never made irresponsible statements in my life,” he said, adding his remarks were “misinterpreted” by the Indian media to mock Pakistan.
The Pakistan leader’s admission has, however, given the ruling BJP the ammunition to attack Rahul Gandhi and the Congress and said this debunks Congress’ allegations of conspiracy theory regarding the Pulwama attack.