Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced the release of captured Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who hails from Chennai. Though Khan called it a 'peace gesture' and the first step to negotiations, India, it is expected, will continue its strict action against terrorism from the neighbouring country. The Wing Commander is in Pakistan's custody after his MiG-21 Bison was brought down in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Wednesday. While Pakistan called his release a peace gesture, it is likely that the Geneva Conventions are likely to have been applied.
Imran Khan said efforts for de-escalation should not be considered weakness. "All issues should be resolved through dialogue. Despite us opening the Kartarpur corridor, we received no response from India," he said. He added: "When the Pulwama attack happened, we were blamed within 30 minutes. Indian media created war hysteria. Our media showed solidarity and acted responsibly. We had understood that they [India] will do something. India gave us a dossier today, two days after they attacked us."
Meanwhile, as India gears up to give a rousing welcome to IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, many are in no mood to forgive Pakistan for sponsoring Jaish-e-Mohammed just yet.
India had rejected Imran Khan's call on Thursday for a dialogue, saying there would be "no deal" on the Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's release. The government demanded the "immediate and safe return" of the pilot and said it "would be well-advised to ensure that no harm comes to him".