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Text of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation

Lahore : Following is the text of Prime
Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation:

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful!“

My Pakistanis, I wanted to take the nation into confidence over the developments since yesterday morning. You know that we had offered
cooperation to India on investigation over Pulwama incident.

I understood the pain of the families who lost family
members in Pulwama. I have visited hospitals and seen the pain of people affected by violence. We have lost 70,000 of our own people during the last ten years and I can realize the pain and suffering of the survivors and the injured who were crippled and who lost their eyes.

We offered India that we would cooperate in investigation and it is not in Pakistan’s interest to let her land be used for terrorism. There is no point of dispute in such an offer of cooperation.

Yet, I had still feared that India would ignore the offer
and still take action, and I had therefore warned India against aggression and said we will be compelled to respond because no sovereign country can allow the violation of its sovereignty and did not allow any other country to decide about the crime and assume the role of judge, jury and execution. Moreover, I had the fear that India would act because of their upcoming elections, therefore, I had told
India that Pakistan will respond. When India made a strike yesterday morning, the army chief, air chief and I spoke.

We did not respond in haste as we did not have a complete assessment of the damage caused and it would have been irresponsible on our part as it may have resulted in casualties on their side. Once
we assessed the damage caused, we were ready to take action. The sole purpose of our action today was to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same. That was the only purpose of what we did. Two of their MiGs (aircraft) were shot down by Pakistani forces after they crossed over into our territory. And I want to tell that their pilots are with us. It is important where we go from here. From
here, it is imperative that we use our mind and act with wisdom.

All wars are miscalculated, and no one knows where they lead to. First World War was supposed to end in weeks, it took six years.
The point came in the Second World War when Hitler thought that he would conquer Russia but he had not thought that it would have to be delayed due to cold weather of Russia and he faced defeat.

Similarly, the US never expected the war on terrorism to last for 17 years. Moreover, US had not thought about the long Vietnam War.
History has taught us that all wars were the result of
miscalculations. I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation? If this escalates, things will no longer be in my control nor in Narendra
Modi’s control.

I once again invite you: we are ready. We understand the grief India has suffered in Pulwama and are ready for any sort of dialogue. I reiterate that better sense should prevail. Let’s sit together and settle this with talks.”

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