A Pakistani opposition leader has claimed that Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was released after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a meeting of Pakistan’s top leaders that India would attack Pakistan.
Recalling the tension in Islamabad after India bombed a terror training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26, 2019, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq criticised the Imran Khan government over its response, saying the Opposition has supported the government on every issue, including Kashmir and Wing Commander Varthaman, but it will no longer be appropriate to provide any further support, Dunya News reported on October 28.
Mr. Sadiq, who was the Speaker of the National Assembly during the PML-N government, made a similar statement earlier on October 28 in Parliament that Foreign Minister Qureshi in an important meeting pleaded that let Wing Commander Varthaman go back because India is attacking Pakistan.
The 37-year-old IAF pilot was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27, 2019 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat.
In the early hours of February 26, 2019, the IAF jets bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan.
Before his jet was hit, Wing Commander Varthaman downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. He was released on the night of March 1.
In a speech in the National Assembly, Mr. Sadiq said that Mr. Khan skipped the high-level meeting, which was attended by top leadership, including Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Mr. Qureshi.
Mr. Sadiq said that he tries not to make any personal attacks but “when those in power refer to us as thieves or “Modi ka yaar” (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pal), we will have to respond .
He also said that those running the government were not serious people. “The rulers don’t even know the rules of Parliament,” he said.
Mr. Sadiq said that the Opposition has supported the Imran Khan government on every issue, including Kashmir and Wing Commander Varthaman, but it will no longer be appropriate to provide any further support.