Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, announced earlier today that the Indian Air Force pilot captured yesterday after an escalation between Pakistan and India rose following Tuesday’s Balakot Air Strike, prompting Pakistan’s air strike to IoK, will be released tomorrow.
Indian Air Force Wing Commander, Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured by Pakistani forces yesterday after his jet was shot down following a Pakistani response strike.
“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,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan said.
He added that he also called India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to de-escalate the situation and to talk about the soldier’s release.
Pakistan’s Imran Khan stressed that his country wants peace because it is “vital for the regional progress.”
According to Pakistani sources, fighter jets from Pakistan have launched a series of an airstrike near the hyper-militarized Line of Control zone, a line that divides the occupancy of India and Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir. The Indian forces tried to run after Pakistan fighter jets but were later shot by Pakistani planes at the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
News agencies have reported about the capture of the Indian pilot and top military officers and have shared an image of the “prisoner-of-war.” There were also videos of the blooded Varthaman that has circulated in the popular video sharing platform, YouTube.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson, Dr. Muhammad Faisal, has said that the Indian pilot held captive by Pakistan is “safe and healthy.”
“India has raised the matter of the pilot with us. We’ll decide in a couple of days what convention will apply to him and whether to give him Prisoner of War status or not,” the spokesperson said, News18 has reported.
INDIA ASKED YOUTUBE TO REMOVE CAPTURED SOLDIER’S VIDEO
Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of Information and Technology have asked YouTube to remove all the eleven video links pertaining to the capture of Officer Abhinandan Varthaman off the video platform.
It was also known that the Home Ministry ordered the IT department to request from YouTube the removal of the said video links.
‘WE ARE PROUD OF HIM’
Meanwhile, Group Captain Kambampati Nachiketa, the first and only prisoner of war of the 1999 Kargil War said that Varthaman, whom he described as ‘brave and courageous, with high professional ethos,’ will surely be released.
“It was indeed disturbing news when he was captured but we all are trained and conditioned for this, and I am sure he will be with us shortly and join back his unit soon,” Nachiketa said.
“He should be back soon and will take to the skies again to defend his motherland whenever called for,” he added.
Nachiketa further said that “we are all proud of him, ” referring to the IAF Wing Commander.
INDIA: PAKISTAN VIOLATES CEASEFIRE AGREEMENTS
On another note, India has accused Pakistan of continuously violating ceasefire agreements for the longest time after it was signed.
Earlier today, Pakistan forces were reportedly opening fire to Indian soldiers at the Sunderbani sector, Mankote sector, Khari Karmara sector, and Degwar sector. The spelling and open fires allegedly started around 6:00 AM followed with a short pause. The firing resumed at 3:00 PM, ANI reported.
A few days ago, Pakistani soldiers also opened fire at the Indo-Pak border, injuring four Indian soldiers.
The tension between the two nuclearized countries arose after Indian fighter jets bombed the training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed at the Balakot area, inside Pakistan-occupied area beyond the Line of Control.
The Indian government announced that the operation has successfully exterminated 300 Jaish terrorists including Yousuf Azhar, brother-in-law of Jaish Chief Masood Azhar, and destroyed the JeM camp, which they described as ‘the heart of training of suicide bombers.’
The ‘non-military’ and ‘pre-emptive’ air strike followed the recent Pulwama attack orchestrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed group where they detonated explosives near an Indian government envoy, killing more than 40 soldiers.
Conflicting for more than five decades, the two Asian countries, have fought three wars over the highly disputed Kashmir region.
Muscle flexing from the two countries has become a global threat because the states have developed nuclear weapons, prompting the international community lead by US, China, Russia, and the European Union to appeal for ‘maximum restraint’ to avoid a full-blown nuclear war. /apr