Pakistan to return captured Indian pilot

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 1, 2019 - Duration: 00:29s

Pakistan to return captured Indian pilot

Pakistan will return a captured pilot "as a peace gesture" to India, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday, amid efforts by the United States to defuse a crisis between the two nuclear powers a day after both downed enemy jets.

Megan Revell reports.

Pakistan to return captured Indian pilot



Pakistan says it will return a captured pilot to India.

The country's Prime Minister Imran Khan declared the move was 'a peace gesture'.

Thursday's (February 28) announcement comes as the United States tries to defuse an escalating crisis between the two nuclear powers.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "We've been in the middle trying to help them both out." This is the first image released of the captured pilot, who has been identified as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan.

He has become the face of an escalation that saw Pakistan down two Indian fighter jets in the contested Kashmir region, a day after Indian warplanes struck suspected militants inside Pakistan.

But India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a rally of supporters on Thursday they would unite against their enemies.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) INDIAN PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI, SAYING: "India will live as one, India will work as one, India will grow as one, India will fight as one, India will win as one." World powers have urged restraint following the tit-for-tat airstrikes.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged both sides to avoid "any action that would escalate and greatly increase risk," and Russia's Foreign Minister offered to facilitate talks between the two countries.

The escalation was sparked by a suicide bombing carried out by Pakistan-based militants in India's territory earlier this month.

Dozens of police were killed.

Kashmir lies at the heart of a decades- long hostility between India and Pakistan.

They both claim sovereignty over the region and have fought three wars since 1947.

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