Pakistan Army in damage control mode after MP’s remark on Abhinandan Varthaman

Islamabad : Pakistan Army and a politician tried to do damage control after remarks by an MP that Abhinandan Varthaman was released by the country under immense pressure and the Army Chief’s legs were shaking out of fear.

PML-N leader and former speaker of Pakistan’s parliament Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Wednesday claimed that the decision to release Indian Wing Commander was taken in a meeting, which was not attended by PM Imran Khan, the Pakistan Army chief has sweat and his legs were shaking.

“One thing is clear: Abhinandan did not come to Pakistan to distribute sweets; he had attacked Pakistan,” Sadiq said and questioned Khan’s motives behind delaying a meeting between top leadership to discuss the pilot’s fate.

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“The prime minister, through foreign minister [Shah Mahmood Qureshi], had said that Abhinandan should be handed over to India immediately,” Sadiq said, adding “Was he taking dictation from [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi?”

On Thursday, Sadiq did a damage control and claimed that his comments have been distorted by the Indian media. He claimed that during his address he mentioned that the decision was taken under pressure.

The Pakistan Army has also waded into the controversy. In a hurriedly called press conference on Thursday, director general of Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said the decision to release Abhinandan was “the mature response of a responsible state.”

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“Yesterday such a statement was given in which attempts were made to twist the facts [regarding Abhinandan’s release],” Gen Babar said.

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