‘Had warned Pak of consequences if pilot not returned’

‘Had warned Pak of consequences if pilot not returned’

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally ahead of the Karnataka state assembly elections in Bengaluru, India, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa – RC11CD6B28D0

New Delhi, April 21 (PTI):  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he had warned Pakistan of consequences if it had not returned Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.  Addressing a poll rally at Patan in his home state Gujarat, he also took a jibe at NCP leader Sharad Pawar, saying if he is unaware of his next move, then how Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan can gauge what he will do.


Following the air strike at Balakot terror camp in Pakistan, there was a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani fighter planes on February 27 in which IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by the neighbouring country.


Before his jet was hit, the IAF pilot downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. He was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.


Referring to it, Modi said after the pilot was caught, the opposition started seeking a reply from him over this.


“We conducted a press conference and warned Pakistan that if anything happened to our pilot, you will keep telling the world that Modi did this to you,” he said.


“A senior American official said on the second day that Modi has kept ready 12 missiles and might attack and the situation will deteriorate. Pakistan announced to return the pilot on the second day, else it was going to be a “qatal ki raat’,” Modi said.


“This was said by America, I have nothing to say about this now, I will speak about it when the time will come,” he added.


Asserting his government’s commitment towards national security, Modi said whether the prime minister’s chair remains or not, he has decided that either he will be alive or terrorists will remain alive.


He also took a swipe at Pawar, who on Saturday said he was “terribly afraid” as to what Modi, who once called Pawar his mentor in politics, would do next.


“Sharad Pawar says I don’t know what will Modi do. If he is unaware of what Modi will do tomorrow, how will Imran Khan know? Modi said.