01 Mar 2019
Pakistan: Petition filed to stop the release of Abhinandan Varthaman
A Pakistani citizen today filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court to stop the imminent release of the captured Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, saying he committed crime against the country and should be put on trial.
The Pakistan government decided to hand over Varthaman to India at around 4 pm today at Wagah Border.
Pakistan decided to release pilot as 'first-step to open negotiation'
Pakistan detained the Indian Air Force pilot Wednesday following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control when his MiG 21 fighter jet was downed.
The Pakistan government yesterday decided to release him as "a first step" to open negotiations with India to de-escalate tension after a terror attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
The Islamabad High Court will hear the petition today
The petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) sought the court's order to stop Prime Minister Imran Khan's government from handing over the Indian Air Force pilot.
The petitioner said the Indian pilot had violated the airspace of Pakistan to bomb the country and therefore he committed crime against Pakistan and should face trial here.
The court has admitted the petition for hearing today.
Abhinandan will be handed over to India around 4 pm
The IHC chief justice Athar Minhallah will hear the petition ahead of the Indian pilot's handing over to India.
"The Indian pilot will be handed over to Indian likely around 4 pm," a source in Pakistan Rangers said.
Strict security measures have been taken at the Wagah border to welcome the pilot.
Police and Rangers are deployed on the way to Wagah.