Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday promised to return Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman but added India should not take this 'gesture' for his country's 'weakness'
New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released on Friday in what Pakistan calls a 'peace gesture'. This news has brought a sense of calm to the Indian establishment which was under anticipation after India refused to be held hostage by a 'blackmailing' Pakistan.
Earlier on Wednesday, Abhinandan had fallen into Pakistani hands after the MiG-21 Bison he was flying to challenge a Pakistani F-16 that had violated Indian air space was shot down by the enemy, making its wreckage fall on the Pakistani side of the LoC.
Ever since, emotions have been running high in India with #BringBackAbhinandan trending on Twitter.
While the gesture was greeted with near-unanimous support in Pakistan Parliament, India sees it as a diplomatic win.
Since the capture, both the nations saw heightened war preparedness with an emergency declared in the entire Sindh province and Karachi put on high alert.
Pakistan spent a sleepless night in anticipation of a counter-strike by India, the Dawn newspaper betrayed some bravado when it reported, "PM Khan cautioned that the situation should not "get out of hand" otherwise "Pakistan will have to retaliate".
Khan said Abhinandan would be released on March 1 and handed over to India. This, hours after US President Donald Trump indicated a 'descent news' that was on its way from the subcontinent.
Last Updated Feb 28, 2019, 5:27 PM IST