India Welcomes Pakistan’s Peace Gesture to Return Detained Pilot, Big Powers Urge De-escalation

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On 28th February, Indian military officials mentioned that they appreciates Pakistan’s planned return of the detained pilot; however it refused to comment on whether they would de-escalate the conflict that has been brewing  the two nuclear powers.

The detained pilot, who has been recognized as Wing Commander Abhinandan, became the human face of the outburst over the disputed region of Kashmir after video showing him being detained and later held in custody was released.

Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, during a joint news conference of India’s three armed forces on the evening of 28th February, stated that they are happy that their pilot is being released. However, he didn’t comment on de-escalation of the battle.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the pilot would be released on Friday, and the news came as a relief to many Indians, even as Pakistan’s military cited that four Pakistani civilians had been killed by India firing across the wrangled border in Kashmir.

Khan informed the Pakistan’s parliament on 28th February afternoon that as a peace gesture, they would be releasing the detained pilot on 1st March. Legislators welcomed this move with huge lauding.

Big powers, such as the United States, China, European Union and others have requested self-control from the two countries, as tensions heightened after a suicide bomber rammed an explosive laden SUV car into an Indian paramilitary convoy that killed that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel in Indian-controlled Kashmir on 14th February.

The Muslim-majority Himalayan region has been at the heart of dispute for over 70 years, since the partition of the British colony of India into the separate nations of Muslim Pakistan and majority Hindu India.

Pakistan’s PM Khan’s decision to release the pilot came after several nations offered diplomatic help to intervene between two nations, which have fought war three times since their independence from colonial British rule in 1947.

After Khan’s declaration, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that he had spoken to the leaders of both nations and asked them to avert “any action that would heighten and greatly increase risk” of war.

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