Every Indian proud of Wg Cdr Abhinandan: Modi

Every Indian proud of Wg Cdr Abhinandan: Modi

An Indian pilot captured by Pakistani forces on February 27 after his warplane was shot down in the disputed region of Kashmir has returned to India after being freed by Islamabad in a "peace gesture".

Indian military officials said on Thursday they welcomed Pakistan's plan to return the captured Indian pilot on Friday. The parliamentary panel asked the government to "go all out to explain" to the global community the reasons behind India's decision to carry out the air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp, PTI reported quoting unidentified officials.

Despite hopes on both sides that the pilot's release might prompt a de-escalation, shelling continues along the Line of Control, the de facto border between Indian and Pakistani-controlled sides of Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan territory the two countries have fought three wars over.

Lashing out at Pakistan for sending its fighter jets in Indian airspace, the sources said that Pakistan Air Force specifically targeted Indian military facilities while the Indian jets only targeted the JeM terror camp.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he is ready to talk by telephone to his Indian peer Narendra Modi "to extend an invitation to peace", Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday. They fought a third war in 1979 over East Pakistan, which gained independence with the help of India and became Bangladesh.

Tensions spiraled dangerously after Pakistani jets crossed into Indian territory in response to India's bombing of a suspected terrorist camp inside Pakistan a day earlier.

The violence this week 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.

"I wish India, instead of attacking Pakistan, had shared earlier the dossier, which we received today".

Activists of Indian National Congress demand a safe return of the air force Pilot Abhinandan Vardaman.

"As the prime minister has said, as a peace gesture and to de-escalate matters, the Indian pilot will be released".

Authorities in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir closed all schools and educational institutions in the region and urged parents to keep their children at home amid mounting tensions. Pakistan retaliated, shooting down two Indian aircraft Wednesday and capturing Varthaman.

Pakistan said the Indian operation was a failure that did not kill anyone.

In what appeared to be an edited statement aired on Pakistan TV, the wing commander described how he was shot down and rescued from an "agitated" crowd by Pakistani soldiers.

India has categorically said that the government will not allow Pakistan to change the mood of the nation, asking for the immediate release of the pilot who is in Pakistan's custody since Wednesday.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said he was "treated with dignity and in line with worldwide law", and that his release was "aimed at de-escalating rising tensions with India".

While addressing the joint session of Pakistani parliament, Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid on Thursday admitted that "14 Indian fighter jets" had entered Pakistan's air space and destroyed madrasa's run by Azhar Sahab (JeM chief Masood Azhar).

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