India seeks immediate, safe return of IAF pilot Abhinandan from Pakistan

  • India makes it clear to Pakistan that no harm should be caused to IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman captured by that country
  • India also conveys strong objection to Pakistan at ‘vulgar display’ of injured personnel in violation of all international norms
  • New Delhi: India on Wednesday summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan and demanded the immediate and safe return of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthamandetained by Pakistan following an aerial engagement by the air forces of the two countries.
  • It has also been made clear to Pakistan that no harm should be caused to Abhinandan, the ministry of external affairs said, adding it has conveyed strong objection to its western neighbor at the “vulgar display” of injured personnel in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.
  • Abhinandan will be governed under the Geneva Convention of 1929, Pakistan Army major general Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter.
  • Pakistan detained IAF wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control (LoC) in which, India said, a Pakistani fighter jet was downed.
  • The Indian Air Force also lost a MiG 21 fighter jet in the engagement.
  • “It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defense personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return,” the MEA said.
  • Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan’s acting high commissioner was summoned by the MEA to lodge a strong protest at the unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India, including violation of the Indian air space and targeting of Indian military posts.
  • The response by Pakistan Air Force came a day after IAF air strikes destroyed terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM’s) training camp in Balakot, Pakistan.
  • “This is in contrast to India’s non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp in Balakot on 26 February. It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India,” the MEA said.
  • “It was clearly conveyed that India reserves the right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity against any act of aggression or cross-border terrorism,” the ministry added.
  • The MEA also expressed regret at the continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and military leadership regarding the presence of terrorist infrastructure in its territory.
  • “A dossier was handed over to the Pakistan side with specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan.” the MEA said.
  • “It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from territories under its control,” it said.


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