Greatly relieved that Pak PM announced immediate release of captured IAF pilot: Omar


Srinagar, Feb 28 Expressing happiness over Pakistan’s decision to handover captured Wing Commander Abhinandan to India on Friday, former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said he is relieved that Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced the immediate release of the IAF pilot.
However, Mr Abdullah said he will welcome Wing Commander Abhinandan back only after the IAF pilot is on Indian soil.
The development comes just hours after US President Donald Trump said that there is ‘reasonably decent’ news on the India-Pakistan conflict and ‘hopefully’ it’s coming to an end.
“Very glad to know that #WingCommandarAbhinandan will be heading home. I’ll wait for him to be back on Indian soil before I welcome him back but I’m greatly relieved that PM @ImranKhanPTI has announced the imminent release of our pilot,” Mr Abdullah, who is the Vice President of National Conference (NC), wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Reacting to Mr Trump’s statement, Mr Abdullah earlier in the day said ‘so the US has secured the release of our pilot and in turn India has agreed to de-escalate’.
This, Mr Abdullah had said, is how he read this statement from Mr Trump.
“So the US has secured the release of our pilot & in turn India has agreed to deescalate is how I read this statement from Trump,” Mr Abdullah had twitted earlier in the day.
Mr Abdullah also said that the Prime Minister ‘continuing’ with his election campaign indicates either Wing Commander Abhinandan will be back in the next couple of day or Narendra Modi ‘doesn’t care enough’. “PM Modi continuing with his Elections2019 campaign is the surest sign WingCommanderAbhinandan will be back in the next 24-48 hours. Either that or he really just couldn’t care less,” Mr Abdullah had twitted.
“I think there is “reasonably decent” news from Pakistan and India. We have been involved and trying to have them stop…. And we have some decent news… hopefully that is going to come to an end as it has been going on for decades and decades… there is a lot of dislike unfortunately so we have been in the middle trying to help both of them out to get some peace. And I think that is going to happen,” President Trump said at a press conference in Hanoi in Vietnam, on the sidelines of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Meanwhile, with the Pakistan’s announcement, people in the valley are hopeful that the tension between the two neighbouring countries will de-escalate.
The tension between India and Pakistan escalated after IAF fighter jets went across to the Line of Control (LoC) early on Tuesday morning and destroyed a terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale in a press briefing in New Delhi on Tuesday said that a terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot was destroyed, and a large number of terrorists were eliminated.
The Centre on Wednesday said that Pakistan attempt to target military installations on Indian side were foiled but in the process one MiG 21 was lost and the pilot is ‘missing in action’. “One fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force was also shot down in the aerial engagement by IAF’s MiG 21 Bison,” he added.
Pakistan claimed that the pilot was in their custody. A video of Wing Commander Abhinandan being questioned by Pakistan Army went viral on social media. Following this, the BJP-led government put out a strong statement and said it expects the “immediate and safe return” of the pilot and lodged a strong protest over the “unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan”.’


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