ISLAMABAD - Recalling the Indian aggression of February 26 after the Pulwama incident last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he feels pride on the way Pakistani nation came out of that crisis.

“I am speaking as Pakistani not as Prime Minister that I was so proud to see how Pakistani nation dealt with crisis during the standoff with India,” the Premier said while addressing a ceremony to commemorate Pakistan’s responsible and resolute response to Indian aggression.

The ceremony was attended by services chiefs, ministers and other senior officials.

The prime minister said that nation displayed “maturity and unity” while dealing with the crisis between Pakistan and India in the wake of Pulwama suicide attack in Occupied Kashmir last year.

Appreciating the response of the whole nation, including politicians and media in that crisis, the prime minister said that Pakistan’s armed forces were fully prepared to meet any aggression, but Pakistan side exercised restraint after realizing that there were no casualties in the Indian bombing.

“We are proud of our armed forces in their ability to defend the frontiers of the country,” said the prime minister and added that our armed forces are battle hardened and they have defeated the menace of terrorism successfully, which has boosted their morale and confidence.

The prime minister said that Pakistan armed forces had acted “with restraint” in response to India’s moves while the Pakistani media displayed maturity. In contrast, he said, the Indian media and politicians were beating the drums of war.

“We could have panicked and responded to the Indian bombing on the spot. But we waited, realised the next day that there had been no casualties and then responded accordingly,” he recalled.

On the domestic front, the premier said the country will see things improve because “the entire difficult period has passed”.

Tensions between Pakistan and India had escalated last year after the February 14 suicide attack in which a young man, a native of occupied Kashmir had rammed an explosives-laden car into an Indian paramilitary convoy, killing over 40 personnel in Pulwama district.

On February 26, 2019, Indian planes violated Pakistani airspace and conducted air strikes inside Pakistani territory.

In retaliation the next day, the Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

Prime Minister Imran Khan later decided that Pakistan would release the pilot as a peace gesture.

Earlier in a series of tweets on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the world community to act now to save the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and 200 million Indian Muslims from the racist ideology of Indian leadership.

He said that a Nazi inspired RSS ideology has taken over a nuclear armed state of over a billion people. Whenever a racist ideology based on hatred takes over, it leads to bloodshed.

Prime Minister Imran said India today has set out a “very dangerous path” from where it is very difficult to return.

“There can be very serious consequences of marginalising such a large minority. India is now trapped,” he said, calling on the international community to act.

Referring to his address of the UN General Assembly last year, the prime minister said once the genie is out of the bottle the bloodshed gets worse.

He said that the situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir was the beginning and now Muslims in India are being targeted.

The prime minister said minorities in Pakistan are equal citizens. He said anyone targeting our non- Muslim citizens or their places of worships will be dealt with strictly.

He said more than eight million Kashmiris are virtual hostage with communication blockade and essential freedoms compromised. 

He said a racist, fascist and totalitarian ideology has been adopted by Indian government which is leading to violence and bloodshed.

He said the Hindutva philosophy prevailing in India is spreading hatred against Muslims and Christians and its next target will be other Indian minorities.

The prime minister noted that the Indian media had criticised US President Donald Trump for praising Pakistan during his recent visit to India but said that it reflected “Pakistan’s current standing” in the international community.

He said the prevailing environment in India is echoing the same situation where hate is being spread against all minorities in that country, leading to communal violence.

Imran Khan said 200 million Muslims are being targeted in India due to policies based on hate.

He expressed fear that the situation will only get worse in India if not checked in time.