India on Thursday rejected any possibility of a deal with Pakistan to secure the release of Indian Air Force pilot and stressed that New Delhi expected the officer to be “repatriated unconditionally and immediately”.
“There is no question of any deal,” news agency PTI said, quoting government sources.
India also underlined that New Delhi was still waiting for “immediate, credible and verifiable action against terrorists and their proxies”. The foreign ministry had yesterday summoned the Pakistan envoy and handed over a dossier on the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s involvement in the Pulwama terror attacks.
Now that Pakistan has been given the Jaish’s links to the suicide bombing in south Kashmir’s Pulwama that killed 40 soldiers, government sources said New Delhi expected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to “walk the talk on investigating Pulwama attack”.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was caught by Pakistani authorities on Thursday shortly after his MiG 21 Bison – part of the IAF’s combat air patrol – repulsed an effort to target military installations in Jammu and Kashmir. A Pakistan Air Force F-16 was shot down by the IAF.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman fighter jet was also hit in this aerial engagement between the air forces. He was captured by Pakistani Army forces. Later, Pakistani authorities released a series of video clips of the officer. He was blindfolded, blood covered and being asked hostile questions.
India’s statement comes as the US backed strikes carried out by India at Jaish terror camps deep across the line of control. But United States, like many other countries, have also urged the two countries to refrain from taking further military action that would escalate tension.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday told reporters that the US was hopeful of a resolution to the ongoing crisis between the two countries. “We have some reasonably decent news… Hopefully that’s going to be coming to an end,” he added.
- Hindu Times