Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his government is releasing Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on March 1 as ‘peace gesture.’ Khan made the announcement in his address to the joint session of Pakistani parliament. During his address, Khan said he is ready to have dialogue with his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Abhinandan Varthaman is in Pakistan’s custody after his MiG-21 Bison got hit by Pakistanis in Pak occupied Kashmir after Pakistani Air Force jets violated Indian airspace and they were chased back.
The Pakistani PM added:
“I appeal to India and Narendra Modi not to escalate the situation further. It would not be in favour of either India or Pakistan given the kind of weapons the two countries have.”
Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan was ready to release the pilot if it meant “de-escalation” of the current tension between the two countries.
As per media reports, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, had shown tremendous presence of mind after crash landing in PoK. As per the Pakistani media reports, after locals started running towards him, he fired in the air.
However, when he realised that he would not be able to make it to the Indian side of the LoC, he jumped into a pond to ensure that documents and maps he was carrying become useless. Reports also suggest that he even tried to swallow some of the documents.
Here is how Twitterati reacted to the news:
If it’s correct then it’s the Best decision taken by Pakistan… They know what price they have to pay by keeping our Pilot Hostage….
— Rahul Bhamra (@bhamra_rahul) February 28, 2019
Otherwise Pakistan would have been finished by Indian security forces.
— Ashok Chhangani (@AdvChhangani) February 28, 2019
What about Kulbhushan? Release him too
— BillAmlani (@billamlani) February 28, 2019
Well it’s a true joyous news for Indian that our Pilot will be back home with his dignity and honour. But victory will be celebrated the day when the coward terrorist mastermind Masood Azar is killed by Indian Army once and for all.
— Shreyansha Sinha (@iamshreyansha) February 28, 2019
Indian thanks to PM Imran Khan
— Shahid Khan Banglani (@ShahidKhanBang2) February 28, 2019
such good news
— annaline de wet (@annalinedewet) February 28, 2019
I am Indian. That doesn’t mean a good will from Pakistan is to be condemned. Thank you Imran khan for this good gesture.
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— Prashant (@prashantdba) February 28, 2019
“As a peace gesture….., “ well, let’s take its face value. It’s better to work for peace. Jingoism and egoism should take backseat.
— Dr Sundara (@DrSundara3) February 28, 2019
Wonderful news …nothing better than this in year 2019
— Sandeep Joshi (@sandyj1712) February 28, 2019
— Nandish Hiremath (@Nandime) February 28, 2019
good gesture, Pl ask to send Kulbhusan along with him.
— Ruby S. Gupta (@Rubycabm) February 28, 2019
A very real Bajrangi Bhaijaan moment, I hope with this the two countries come together just like the movie 🤧
— Gully ki Murad (@GullykiMurad) February 28, 2019
A good step. Now Indian media should be careful in reporting it , it should not be projected as Pak defeat.
— salil kumar (@shalu27071968) February 28, 2019
We welcome this peace move by Pakistan Let’s fight together in this battle against the common enemy i.e terrorism and not become the victims instead. 🙏🏻🙏🏻
— Anuja Gusain (@GusainAnuja) February 28, 2019
Great news. So happy
— umakant bijapur (@ubijapur) February 28, 2019
Welcome home champ
— Deepalee (@DeepaleeG) February 28, 2019
Good news for all Indian’s
— Nacv’r Alee (@nasier_ali) February 28, 2019
The government has earlier summoned the Pakistani envoy and handed over a demarche demanding the “immediate and safe return” of the pilot. India has also objected to Pakistan’s “vulgar display” of the pilot and said Pakistan “would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to him”.