Abhinandan honoured by India for getting shot down by PAF: Sheikh Rashid

Web Desk BOL News

24th Nov, 2021. 03:10 pm
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking to the media in Islamabad. Photo: FIle

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Wednesday that India gave a gallantry award to Indian pilot Abhinandan for getting “beautifully” shot down by the Pakistan Air Force.

Speaking at a press conference, the interior minister said that the incumbent government is fortunate to have an incompetent opposition that is stuck with media and releasing videos. He was referring to the alleged audio of former chief justice Saqib Nisar.

The minister said that the opposition alliance — Pakistan Democratic Movement — is all “flash” and lacks substance. He assured the reporters that nothing can stop the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government from completing its five-year tenure.

Read more: Wait, What? Indian pilot Abhinandan gets wartime military bravery award

“Starting a movement in election year is a foolish move. The right time for public demonstration was when Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman came in Islamabad. The time has gone,” he said.

Rashid said that the government has been able to bring down sugar, rice and flour prices.

“We just had bumper crop everything will be in control,” he said.

The interior minister blamed the previous governments for the economic crisis in the country. He said that the massive foreign loans have given the incumbent government serious challenges to overcome.

Read more: India honouring Abhinandan a classic case of fabrication, pure fantasy, says Pakistan

Indian pilot Abhinandan gets wartime military bravery award

On Monday, Indian Air Force’s Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman, who was downed by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and then paraded on video, was awarded the ‘Vir Chakra’ in a ceremony today.

Abhinandan was recently promoted to the rank of Group Captain, according to India media.

Indian media had been claiming that Abhinandan had shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft during aerial combat on February 27, 2019, a claim both Pakistan and later the United States had rejected.

Read more: Fawad trolls Abhinandan, terms his award receiving event a ‘comedy movie scene’

The Indian pilot was in fact, captured by Pakistani villagers and then rescued by the Pakistani soldiers.

In a video posted on social media, a Pakistani soldier ankle-deep in a stream of water in Azad Jammu and Kashmi could be seen shielding Abhinandan from angry villagers and shouting “enough” as they pummel his bloodied face and strike blows against his limp body.

Later, in another video released by Pakistan’s military, Abhinandan was shown without a blindfold, thanking the Pakistan Army while sipping tea.

The army later released him as a goodwill gesture.

NADRA HQ visit

Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed  inaugurated upgraded system of Pakistan Online Visa System (POVS) here at NADRA Headquarters Islamabad.

Earlier the system inaugurated in March 2019 was a cumbersome process with no access through smart phones and tablets.

NADRA has automated the end-to-end visa application process for the convenience of applicants. The overhauling involved the up-gradation of the system transforming it into user-friendly, robust and secure interface compatible with all devices including mobile and tablet.

Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking on the occasion said the online application was not only promoting tourism in Pakistan but also a catalyst in positive image building of the country. He said the ease of access to Pakistan generated through POVS had improved Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and stirred up socio-economic activity in the country. So far over six hundred thousand (6 lacs) applications have been received from 180 countries through online visa system, he added.

Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik while speaking on the launch said that the recent upgrades in Pakistan Online Visa System would result in the reducing the application filing time by 50 percent. He said international travel has witnessed a major spike and visa approval rate has reached to 94%. He said, “My mission to look at our services from the citizens’ prism and make Public Services available for all.”

Moreover, new categories Medical Tourism, CPEC Visa, and Pilgrim Visa, Mountaineering & Trekking Visa have also been incorporated in Pakistan Online Visa System. Business visa policy is also revamped through which visa acquisition is now possible within 24 hours.