New Delhi: Recounting the events of February 2019 when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to release Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, Pakistan’s opposition party said Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “legs were shaking” and the government released the Wing Commander “out of fear”.Also Read - British Hostage-Taker Demanding Release Of Jailed Pakistani Scientist Shot Dead In US

In a speech in the National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a meeting of parliamentary leaders that India was about to attack their country if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Varthaman “that night by 9 pm.” Also Read - Hong Kong Airport Bans Transit Travellers From 153 Countries, Including India Amid Rising COVID Cases

The PML-N leader told opposition leaders that Mr Qureshi had held the “important” meeting with the parliamentary leaders, including PPP and PML-N and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Also Read - India vs Pakistan Twitter War Turns Ugly Over Controversial Dean Elgar DRS Call During 3rd Test At Cape Town

“I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. Foreign Minister said for god’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm,” Sadiq recalled.

Dunya News quoted Mr Sadiq as saying that the opposition supported the government in all issues including Wing Commander Varthaman, but would not be able to further support it.

Wing Commander Varthaman’s fighter jet was downed while pursuing a Pakistani fighter jet during a dogfight, a day after India launched an airstrike on a terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which claimed a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 soldiers. A Pakistani F-16 was also shot down.

Wing Commander Varthaman returned to India via Attari-Wagah border on March 1, 2019. He was awarded the Vir Chakra on Independence Day by President Ram Nath Kovind for his exemplary bravery.

(With ANI inputs)