MNS President Raj Thackeray said on Thursday said that if Pakistan frees the captured IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman and orders a ceasefire, then the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi should grab his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan’s offer for talks.
“If Pakistan is really sincere in their offer of constructive talks, then the first step in this direction must come from them. They have to release our pilot Abhinandan immediately and call for ceasefire,” the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief said.
“If this can be achieved, then we can believe that Imran Khan’s intentions are noble. If all this takes place, then Modi should not let this opportunity pass by,” he said.
Thackeray’s statement came against the backdrop of Khan’s offer for talks to resolve the tensions between the two neighbours in the aftermath of the February 14 suicide attack in Kashmir and the subsequent developments.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan is willing to consider returning the Indian pilot if it means de-escalation of ties between the two countries.
Thackeray, recently had called the 49 CRPF armed personnel killed in an attack on their convoy in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 as ‘political victims’ and claimed that the “truth” will come out if National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval was questioned.