Citizens mark Surprise Day with national pride

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Saturday celebrated the second anniversary of the “Operation Swift Retort’ that its brave air force had launched against intruding Indian jets in Azad Jammu and Kashmir on February 27, 2019, shooting down the adversary’s aircraft and arresting a pilot.

The main ceremony was held at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) headquarters here, which was telecast live by all media channels besides airing documentaries based on the whole episode starting from the Pulwama incident to shooting down of two Indian aircraft, arrest and release of the captured pilot Abhinandan as a goodwill gesture by Pakistan.

The television channels screened that how India showed aggression against Pakistan after the Pulwama incident, committed airspace violation and made a false claim of an airstrike. 

The documentaries also carried the details that how the fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) engaged the invading aircraft of India on February 26, 2019, which fled back and dropped their payload in panic. The next day, the PAF jets not only engaged the Indian aircraft on the violation of the airspace but also downed two of them, proving the Pakistan claim correct that the response of aggression would be “unusual, exclusive and stunning.” 

Earlier, a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Air Force presented the Guard of Honour.

Another important event of the ceremony was a spectacular fly past by two formations of PAF fighter aircraft including F-16, JF-17, F-7 and Mirage.  The ceremony was rounded off with soulful performance by the young students of Fazaia School and College.

February 27, 2021 was marked as the ‘Surprise Day’ to pay tribute to the valiant Shaheens for their heroic defence of the motherland while retaliating to Indian Air Force (IAF) violation of its sovereign territories on a momentous day. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday congratulated the entire nation on the 2nd Anniversary of Pakistan’s response to India’s illegal, reckless military adventure of air strikes against Pakistan on this day in 2019. 

Pakistan’s will for peace is strength, not weakness

PAF will always defend motherland against all threats

February 27 day of pride, glory for entire nation

In a series of tweets, PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan always stood for peace and remained ready to move forward to resolve all outstanding issues with India through dialogue. “As a proud and confident nation, we responded with determined resolve at a time & place of our choosing,” he said. 

Imran Khan said, “We also demonstrated to the world Pakistan’s responsible behaviour in the face of India’s irresponsible military brinkmanship, by returning the captured Indian pilot.” He welcomed restoration of ceasefire between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control. 

“The onus of creating an enabling environment for further progress rests with India,” he said.

The Prime Minister stressed that India must take necessary steps to meet the long-standing demand and right of the Kashmiri people to self determination according to the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Pakistan’s will for peace is strength, not weakness

President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said Pakistan’s desire to maintain peace in the region must not be taken as its weakness. “Will for peace is our strength, never consider it our weakness,” the President said in a tweet as the nation marked second anniversary of the foiling of India’s airstrikes.

The President paid salute to the country’s valiant armed forces for making unsuccessful the Indian attempt of violating Pakistan’s airspace. “Downing an Indian plane in our territory, we showed our resolve and superiority against all aggressors,” he said.  

President Alvi said Pakistan wanted peace, but not at the cost of sacrificing the brutalized people of Kashmir.

PAF will always defend motherland against all threats

Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate Major General Babar Iftikhar on the second anniversary of Operation Swift Retort said 27th Feb, 2019 was testament that Pak Armed Forces, with support of the nation, would always defend the motherland against all threats.

In a tweet, the ISPR DG on Saturday said it was not the numerical strength of the Armed Forces that gave nation dominance over its adversary in wars rather the valour and determination of a resilient nation that achieves victory in the end. “It is not the numbers but courage and will of a resilient nation that triumphs in the end.” Major General Babar Iftikhar further said: “Pakistan stands for peace but when challenged, shall respond with full might.”

February 27 day of pride, glory for entire nation

Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz on Saturday said that February 27 is the day of pride and glory for the entire Pakistani nation. In a tweet, the minister said that the hawks of Pakistan Air Force thwarted the enemy’s evil designs and raised the head of the entire nation with pride.  

Shibli Faraz said that Pakistan was a proponent of peace in the region but was fully capable of responding to any aggression.

Pakistan wants to resolve issues with India peacefully

Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday said Pakistan wanted to resolve its issues with India through peaceful dialogue and desired resolution of the Kashmir dispute according to the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

In a televised statement, he said, “We have to find solution to our core issues. We have to find a way through peaceful dialogue.”

Pakistan wanted dialogue with India but it could not ignore the human right violations of Kashmiris and wanted talks on the Kashmir issue in line with the UN Security Council resolutions, he added.

The minister said Pakistan had no aggressive designs but if Balakot will be repeated Pakistan knows how to defend itself.

On February 26, 2019, he said India attacked Pakistan, crossed our borders and bombed Balakot and told the world that it attacked a militant camp and killed about 300 terrorists.

Today the facts were before the world that there was no militant camp and no terrorists were killed there. It was a drama staged for political objectives and for success in the elections and to retake the lost status in politics, he noted.

He said the drama of Pulwama was staged and the  conversations and Whatsapp messages of  Goswami and Dasgupta showed that it was planned and it had political objectives.

On February 27 Pakistan gave a measured and dignified response. “We did not want to increase tension but we wanted to make it clear to the world that that we are determined and we have the capability to defend ourselves.”

He said, “We defended our borders and our sovereignty but we tried to avoid loss of life . We shot down their two planes and later on we immediately released one of their pilots as a gesture of goodwill and the world appreciated it.”

He said the world recognized that Pakistan desired peace, adding when the government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was formed, Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement that if India took one step, and Pakistan would take two steps towards peace.

Qureshi said the world was seeing the role of Pakistan and it was seeing the effort made by it for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The world knew that Pakistan government opened the Kartarpur corridor and its aim was to promote interfaith harmony and goodwill. “We opened path for Sikhs from all over the world so that they can come and visit their sacred Gurdwara.”

The minister recalled that on August 5, 2019 India took some steps but these steps were completely rejected by the Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

He said today saner elements in India realized that those steps were illegal and one sided and these steps further complicated the already worsening situation in the occupied Kashmir and now Kashmiris were more furious.

The civil society, intellectuals and secular section of Indian society was now stressing that India’s Kashmir policy was a failure and it was losing the fight for hearts and minds and it had to review its Kashmir policy, he commented.

Qureshi said the violations of human rights had increased in the occupied Kashmir.

The violations along the Line of Control had alarmingly increased and situation could affect peace and stability in the region, he added.

The minister said the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed four times in the United Nations Security Council. Imran Khan as ambassador of Kashmir in his address in the UN General Assembly presented Kashmir issue before the world.

Qureshi said in more than 120 meetings Imran Khan and Foreign Office raised the Kashmir issue with the world leaders, United Nations and human rights organisations. The UN Secretary General expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Kashmir.

The United Nations Human Rights Council had published two reports in 2018 and 2019 and the third report was expected, he informed.

The minister said UN Human Rights Council in its six communications with India expressed concern over situation in Kashmir. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation criticised Indian over its steps in occupied Kashmir, he added.

He said the Parliaments in United Kingdom and European Union also raised the matter of violation of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir.  The international media wrote 1500 op-eds and articles and criticised India.

He said the Director General Military Operations of India and Pakistan made a contact and agreed to follow the 2003 ceasefire agreement about the Line of Control (LoC). The international community had appreciated the decision of both countries about the Line of Control ceasefire agreement.

Nation stands united against any external threat: FO

The Foreign Office on Saturday said the government, armed forces and the people of Pakistan stood united against any threat or misadventure and would always “act with iron resolve to protect and preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity”.  

The statement came on the day marking the second anniversary of Pakistan’s befitting response to India’s irresponsible military misadventure on February 27, 2019.

The Foreign Office said today, the entire Pakistani nation remembered with great pride Pakistan’s befitting response to India’s irresponsible military misadventure two years ago.

“Pakistan remained committed to peaceful resolution of the long outstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” it said.

 The Foreign Office mentioned that  India’s violation of Pakistani airspace was in complete violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.

“The valiant Pakistan Armed Forces swiftly responded and displayed exemplary professionalism,” it said.

On 27th February 2019, Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured an Indian pilot.

The captured Indian pilot was returned as a gesture of peace.

“The whole world witnessed that Pakistan, once again, not only resolutely safeguarded its territorial sovereignty, but also acted with tremendous restraint and responsibility,” the statement added.

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