Pakistan president Imran Khan declared that the Indian Air Force pilot who was captured by Pakistan on February 27 will be released on February 29, as a ‘gesture of peace.’ The news of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s release comes after the US called for de-escalation of tensions between the two countries. President Donald Trump earlier revealed that there would be ‘reasonably attractive news’ from India and Pakistan. The hashtag #WelcomeBackAbhinandan is trending on social media as the nation awaits the pilot’s return.
Celebrities have been pouring out their best wishes for Abhinandan and many are praying for his safe return. An aerial engagement between Indian and Pakistani jets on February 27 resulted in both sides losing an aircraft. The Pakistani jet crashed in PoK, as did Abhinandan’s fighter. The latter was captured by Pakistan and held in custody. As tensions between the two countries arose, foreign countries expressed concern and called for both parties to de-escalate tensions.
At the Pakistan National Assembly, Imran Khan said that he tried to reach out to Narendra Modi. India however, declined all calls for dialogues. The aerial battle took place as Pakistani jets entered Indian airspace and dropped bombs in four locations. Previously, India had dropped bombs on terrorist camps located in Pakistan.