ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office on Friday has confirmed plan to hand over arrested Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India at Wagah Border in the afternoon.
The ministry said that all the relevant travel documents of the pilot have been completed.
The decision was taken by Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan as a goodwill gesture to de-escalate tensions between both the countries. While giving policy statement in the National Assembly, the premier said that he was ready to hold a phone conversation with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.
“I want to say it to India: Don’t take this any further, Pakistan will be forced to retaliate,” Khan said. “I hope the international community will play its part to ensure the situation does not escalate beyond this.”
“I am afraid of miscalculations,” Khan said. “We should not even think of war, especially in view of the lethality of the weapons that we have.” However, he warned that his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi should not misconstrue his desire to de-escalate as “weakness”.
The address was delivered day after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets for violating the Pakistani airspace and arrested Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
Also Read: Who is Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman?
Mohammad Faisal, the Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters Thursday that the pilot had “some mishap before our officers reached there because he was caught by the public”.
But he stressed the pilot was now “with us, he is safe and in good condition”.
Video of arrested Indian Air Force pilot released
A video released by the Pakistani military later showed Abhinandan sipping tea, standing collected and calm.
He thanked the “thorough gentlemen” who rescued him from the mob and complimented the tea as “fantastic”. It was unclear if he had been coerced to speak.
Earlier today, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan is ready to hand over Wing Commander Abhinandan if it leads to de-escalation.
We want peace in the region, he remarked.