In a sensational development, Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was held captive by Pakistan security forces after an air strike operation with Indian forces on February 27, will be released by Islamabad (Pakistan’s capital) on March 1. The news has been confirmed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The pilot was seized by Pakistani forces after his MiG 21 Bison crossed the Line Of Control (LoC) and landed erroneously into the neighbouring country’s territory. Before the Wing commander was captured, he shot down 2 Pakistani pilots and hit an F-16 jet, the government added.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the reporters at the press conference said, “Yesterday I tried to call (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi to say that we don’t want escalation. Our push for de-escalation doesn’t mean we are afraid,” Imran Khan said.
“We have an Indian pilot. As a peace gesture, we will release him tomorrow.”
Previously on February 28, India made its statement very clear and said that they were not looking forward to striking any deal with Pakistan as they were demanding “instant release” of the Wing commander.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, reportedly said, adding that Pakistan is “willing to consider returning the Indian pilot if it means de-escalation of ties between the two countries.”