Imran Khan promises to release IAF pilot Abhinandan tomorrow
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said he will release IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday as a gesture of peace towards India. Wing commander Abhinandan, who will be released at Wagah border, was arrested in Pakistan on Wednesday after air combat between IAF and PAF. On Wednesday, India demanded his immediate safe return immediately. The government also warned Pakistan against harming him.
He calls it a peace gesture
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan: As a peace gesture we are releasing Wing Commander Abhinandan tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/J0Attb6KDC— ANI (@ANI) February 28, 2019
After Pulwama attack, IAF destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's camp in Balakot
India and Pakistan's bitterness reached a new height after Pulwama attack of February 14, in which 40 soldiers were martyred. As Pakistan showed reluctance to crack down on terrorism, IAF executed a precise operation which destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's camp in Balakot. Pakistan disapproved of India's operation and subsequently targeted military establishments in J&K. India slammed Pakistan's aggression underlining IAF attacked terrorist camps not the neighboring country's army.
After air combat, India slammed Pakistan's unprovoked act of aggression
Pakistan retaliation on Indian military installations was seen as an escalation in India. In the battle, the 3 Pakistani aircraft that were tasked with carrying out the attack were intercepted by the IAF, and Abhinandan's plane was shot down. India lodged a strong protest against Pakistan's unprovoked act of aggression. Pakistan failed to "fulfill its international obligation and bilateral commitment," the MEA said.
Wanted to speak to Modi, claims Khan
On escalating tensions, Khan said he tried to contact India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday but couldn't get through. He claimed he wanted current situation to be resolved. Earlier today, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi offered to return Abhinandan if it will help deescalate the situation. Qureshi also said he will go through India's dossier which was handed over to Pakistan's envoy.
Earlier, Abhinandan's father praised his calm demeanor
Meanwhile, Abhinandan's father veteran Air Marshal Varthaman appreciated his son's bravery and thanked everyone for their warm wishes. Giving his first reaction on the turn of events, Marshal Varthaman said, "I thank God for his blessings. Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind. Just look at the way he talked so bravely. A true soldier." He hoped his son wasn't tortured.