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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said Islamabad will release Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday as a gesture of peace. "In our desire of peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody," Khan said in Parliament on Thursday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said Islamabad will release Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday as a gesture of peace.
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"In our desire of peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody," Khan said in Parliament.
Pakistan held Varthaman on Wednesday after fighter jets of both the nations engaged in an air battle following an unsuccessful attempt to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes.
The Prime Minister confirmed that he had received the dossier handed over by the Indian government to Pakistan on the role of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in the Pulwama attack.
" It was their (India’s) compulsion that they’ve elections, had they given us the dossier (on JeM) earlier things would have been different," Khan said, "I tried calling Narendra Modi last evening since we wanted to convey that we want de-escalation."
Videos of the captured Indian Air Force pilot were being released on the internet and netizens shared these videos across social media platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook.
India on Wednesday summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan and demanded the 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 has also been 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.
Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama attack by claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group.
(With inputs from PTI)
First Published: Feb 28, 2019 4:46 PM IST