ISLAMABAD: Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday said Pakistan wants peace and India needs to understand war is a failure of policy.
Addressing a press conference after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, the Pakistan military spokesperson said, "Since today morning activity has been ongoing at the Line of Control (LoC). This morning PAF engaged six targets across LoC from within Pakistani airspace."
Stating that the Pakistan armed forces and PAF had no choice but to respond, DG ISPR said the question was "how to respond" whether in "a similar manner as India or as a responsible country".
"Pakistan's armed forces have capability, will, resolve and nation’s support. But because we are a responsible state and want peace, we decided first of all that we won’t take any military targets."
"Secondly, we decided that there be no loss of life or collateral damage in our engaging of targets," Major General Ghafoor added. "Our planes locked targets, then in open air we carried out strikes," he continued."We locked all targets with accuracy, and when we had option to fire, we acted responsibly from a safe distance. We have capability to do anything, but we don’t want escalation. We don’t want to go towards war," he asserted. "After PAF decided on targets, two Indian jets entered Pakistani airspace and the PAF faced them. The two planes were shot down — one fell in our space and the other on their side," the DG ISPR shared.
Refuting Indian media reports that a Pakistani F-16 jet was shot down, Major General Ghafoor said, "Pakistan did not use F-16 in any activity today."
The Pakistan military spokesperson stressed, "The state, government, armed forces and people of Pakistan have always conveyed a message of peace to India. The road to peace goes through dialogue. Both countries have the capability and capacity but war is the failure of policy which India needs to understand. We do not want to escalate and follow a path which leads to peace. The people of both countries and region at large have a right to live and live in peace. War is not the solution to problems. India should think with a cool head on this offer from Pakistan."
"Today's action was in self defence, we don't want to claim any victory. There are no victors in war. I request media to report objectively, responsibly, to go towards peace. Our message is for peace," he further said. "Starting a war is easy, but where it ends, nobody knows."
Calling on the international community to play its role, DG ISPR said, “Pakistan is sending a message of peace and they should also come forward and see how the environment between India and Pakistan are a threat to peace and development not only to the two countries but the region and beyond.”
Major General Ghafoor added, "Pakistan’s response is not a retaliation per se, but a demonstration of our capability, responsibility and will. It is now up to India whether they go towards peace, which is a requirement of the region. But if forced, we will respond."
In response to a question, Major General Ghafoor said, "Pakistan is not pushing for war. We engaged our targets in open air, we deliberately avoided escalation. We could easily have taken the original targets, but we did not do that."
Regarding the airspace being closed, the DG ISPR said, "It has been closed due to the environment."
Earlier today, the Pakistan military spokesperson said Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and two of their aircraft were shot down by PAF inside Pakistani airspace."One of the aircraft fell inside AJK while other fell inside IoK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground," the DG ISPR stated.