Pak F-16 shot down, but Opposition kept asking about Abhinandan return: PM Modi

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Updated: March 30, 2019 4:07:41 AM

In an interview to telecast Friday, Modi targeted the Opposition and their supporters, saying “they did not have respect for our brave martyrs”, that some people “who survive on Congress bread” found “statesmanship in the Pakistan Prime Minister’s statement” while doubting their own Prime Minister.

Pakistan F-16, Abhinandan return, narendra modi, balakot strike, lok sabha polls, Pulwama airtsrikePM Narendra Modi at a public meeting in
Odisha’s Koraput district PTI

Stepping up his attack on the Opposition in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, referring to the Pakistani retaliation and the capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan a day after the Balakot air strike, has said that instead of praising the Indian forces for “shooting down” a Pakistani F-16 intruder, the Opposition kept saying “when will Abhinandan return, when will Abhinandan return”.

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In an interview to Republic TV telecast Friday, Modi targeted the Opposition and their supporters, saying “they did not have respect for our brave martyrs”, that some people “who survive on Congress bread” found “statesmanship in the Pakistan Prime Minister’s statement” while doubting their own Prime Minister.

“You would know, when the Abhinandan incident happened, all Indian political parties should have united and said that we are proud of the Indian forces, that an F-16 was shot down. Instead, within two hours, they went on saying ‘when will Abhinandan return, when will Abhinandan return,” he said.

“OK, he was caught. The government will do what it has to do at the diplomatic level. But they (Opposition) had planned a candle light march over Abhinandan, Pulwama and the airstrike… Of course, there was planning. They were going to hold a candle light march for Abhinandan. But around 3-4 pm, the Pakistan Prime Minister announced in Parliament (about the decision to release the IAF pilot). And their politics was held up. They have tried to do politics at every moment on such a grave issue… such language does not suit them.”

Underlining he had taken a number of initiatives to bring peace in the subcontinent, Modi, responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for talks, said Islamabad should leave terrorism for that: “Pakistan can do what it wants for its people. That’s fine. That’s their local problem. They can continue doing it. India has just one demand: leave terrorism, leave terrorism. After this, if you don’t even look at us, we will have no problem. But come out of terrorism.”

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