Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman will be released today by Pakistan. Wing Commander Abhinandan will be received at the Wagah border on Friday evening, as per reports. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wing Commander Varthaman was being released as a “gesture of peace”. It is not clear whether the pilot will be handed over to the International Red Cross or to the Indian authorities by Pakistan.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG 21 was shot during an aerial combat between India and Pakistan on Wednesday morning. He has been in Pakistan since then.
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.
Amid soaring tension, 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”.
Tensions between the two countries escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday. It came 12 days after the JeM claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.