Published: Sat, March 02, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Thousands gather at border to welcome back Indian pilot

Thousands gather at border to welcome back Indian pilot

Pakistan retaliated, shooting down two Indian aircraft on Wednesday and capturing a pilot.

Both Indian and Pakistani officials reported small-arms fire and shelling along the Kashmir region into Thursday. I am happy that they have taken note of this rising tension and they want to play a constructive role to deescalate.

In the early hours of Tuesday, February 26, Indian air force fighters struck terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC) in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack which was carried out by a Pakistani-based terrorist group called Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Welcoming Turkey's positive but cautious approach to the crisis, Bhattacharyya said India "highly appreciated the Turkish Foreign Ministry's statement and Turkey's sentiments". The Indian Film and Television Directors' Association also announced a ban on Pakistani artists in films and music produced in India. "We have reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India".

In an attempt to de-escalate the rising tension between India and Pakistan, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told the Pakistan National Assembly on Thursday that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is now in the custody of Pakistani Army officials, will return to India on Friday.

"We welcome the initiative of [Pakistan's] PM to release the Indian pilot".

The Wagah crossing gate is famed for hosting an elaborate daily ceremony by Indian and Pakistani soldiers at sundown.

Pakistan's military later circulated a video of a man with a mustache who identified himself as the Indian pilot, sipping tea and responding to questions, mostly by saying, "You know I can't answer that".

Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi meanwhile said he was boycotting a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Abu Dhabi, as India had been invited.

Ever since the Partition of British India in 1947, Pakistan and India have been archrivals.

Kashmir has been at the root of two of the three wars fought between India and Pakistan.

On Thursday, the Indian military showed a photo of the remains of a United States-made missile which it said could only have been fired from an F-16 fighter jet.

The following day, the two nuclear-armed nations traded blows in aerial combat while shelling began along the disputed Kashmir border.

Despite Prime Minister Imran Khan's repeated offers for peace and dialogue, India continues with its war mongering as Indian media and Indian people are terming it as their "diplomatic victory", asserting that Pakistan took the step under "pressure" and "fear" of India.

India has accused Pakistan of having a "direct hand" in the attack and providing sanctuary to the militants.

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