Pakistan to Release Captured Indian Fighter Pilot as 'Peace Gesture'

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Here's all you need to know about the IAF pilot in Pakistan's custody

Markets Hit and Flights Diverted as India-Pakistan Tensions Flare Up

Maj Gen Ghafoor said that Pakistan fighter jets had carried out "strikes" - exactly what they did remains unclear - in Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday.

Local police official Mohammad Altaf says six people, including children, were killed Wednesday in Kotli village in Pakistan's part of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both in its entirety. "I hope the global community will play its part to ensure the situation does not escalate beyond this".

February 27: Pakistan's military claims to have shot down two Indian warplanes, and captured both pilots.

"What I said in my speech was I criticized Modi and I will continue to do so".

Tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani soldiers faced off along the Kashmir boundary known as the Line of Control, in one of the world's most volatile regions. Pakistan rejects that, insisting it combats all terrorist organizations. A military spokesman said that two aircraft were shot down and it was also claimed that Pakistan Army had captured two Indian pilots, but later, it was revised to one plane and one pilot.

Pakistan, which agreed to release the captured pilot as a "gesture of peace", has been at pains to insist it wants talks to end the crisis. The entire credit should go for the courageous Indian forces and not to one individual.

On the Indian side of the border, policemen and military personnel greeted Mr Varthaman who was dressed in civilian clothes, wearing a blue blazer and grey dress trousers.

Some reports said the pilot is with the Indian officials on the Pakistani side and they will enter to Indian territory after the sunset.

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This week's violence marked the most serious escalation of the long-simmering conflict since 1999, when Pakistan's military sent a ground force into Indian-controlled Kashmir at Kargil.

An infuriated Islamabad denied casualties or damage, but a day later launched its own incursion across the LoC.

"Turkey of course is a great friend of both India and Pakistan".

"India does not wish to see further escalation of the situation", she said, speaking from a meeting with Russian and Chinese foreign ministers in China. "[But] do not confuse our desire for de-escalation as [our] weakness", Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told his parliament.

Tension escalated between India and Pakistan following terror attack in south Kashmir's Pulwama.

Islamabad has said that the handover was a gesture of peace that could defuse tensions and avoid another war between India and Pakistan.

While the world waits with bated breath over the current rising action in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan, Malaysia's foreign offices have issued warnings for all of the country's citizens to leave the region with immediate effect.

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