In a big step towards de-escalating tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced to release the captured Indian Air Force pilot tomorrow. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was detained on Wednesday following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control when his MiG 21 fighter jet was hit.
Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan told a joint session of Parliament that IAF's captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released on Friday as a gesture of peace.The surprise announcement came barely an hour after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Khan is ready to talk to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to de-escalate Indo-Pak tensions. The announcement was greeted by thumping of desks by Pakistani lawmakers
India on Wednesday summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan and demanded immediate and safe return of the IAF pilot who was detained by Pakistan following an aerial engagement by air forces of the two countries.
It was also made clear to Pakistan that no harm should be caused to the Indian defence personnel, the External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi, adding that it has conveyed strong objection to the neighbouring country at the "vulgar display" of an injured personnel in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.