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India demands immediate, safe return of IAF pilot: Here's what experts have to say

Updated : February 27, 2019 10:27 PM IST

India on Wednesday demanded the immediate and safe return of its IAF pilot Abhinandan, captured by Pakistan after an aerial confrontation, and strongly objected to the neighbouring country's "vulgar display" of an injured defence personnel in violation of international norms.

Summoning Pakistan's Acting High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah to lodge a strong protest at "the unprovoked act of aggression" by Pakistan including targeting of military posts, the External Affairs Ministry said the envoy was clearly told that India reserves the right to take "firm and decisive action to protect its national security".

India also made it clear to Pakistan that no harm should be caused to the Indian defence personnel, the External Affairs Ministry said.

Pakistan captured Wing Commander Abhinandan following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control in which a Pakistani jet was downed.

IAF also lost a MiG 21 jet in the engagement. Soon after, Pakistan Army released a video showing him blindfolded and identifying himself as 'Abhinandan', a flying pilot with the IAF.

In its sharp-worded statement, the MEA said India has strongly objected to Pakistan's "vulgar display" of injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.

"It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return," the MEA said.

To discuss this issue, CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan is in conversation with Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary; Pinak Chakravarty, former diplomat; Nirdosh Tyagi, retired deputy chief of the air staff; Abhishek Matiman, retired spokesperson, ministry of defence and Jonah Blank, journalist & foreign policy expert.
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