India Wants Immediate And Safe Return Of IAF Pilot In Pak Custody

NEW DELHI: PM Modi on Wednesday evening met Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three Services chiefs after the Pakistan Air Force jets intruded into the Indian territory across the Line of Control and downed one Indian Air Force fighter jet, capturing its pilot.

PM Modi learnt to have discussed the evolving situation at the meeting, also attended by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.

India on Wednesday summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan and demanded immediate and safe return of an IAF pilot who was detained by Pakistan, following an aerial engagement by air forces of the two countries.

Pakistan detained Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control in which a Pakistani jet was downed.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, said details are also being ascertained about Pakistan’s claim of having captured one Indian pilot.

The External Affairs Ministry said, adding it has conveyed strong objection to the neighbouring country at the “vulgar display” of an injured personnel in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.

Pakistan Army spokesperson Major general Asif Ghafoor told a press conference Wenesday that Pakistan has captured two Indian pilots. One is in custody while the other is under treatment in a hospital.

After the Indian statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan did a live TV address and favoured talks to resolve the issues between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.He, however, claimed that two Indian MIGs crossed the Line of Control and they were shot down.

Indian aviation watchdog DGCA on Wednesday said operations at the nine airports, which were shut earlier in the day, have resumed “as of now”.According to informed sources, the airports’ facilities are currently being used by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Sushma Swaraj stressed during talks in China with her counterparts from Beijing and Moscow that “no military installations were targeted” in the air raid, and the target was selected to avoid civilian casualties.

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