India demands immediate release of captured Indian pilot

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New Delhi, Feb 28: India on Thursday demanded the immediate and unharmed release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and ruled out talks on the issue, saying Pakistan cannot use it as a deal.

Pakistan needs to create a conducive atmosphere for talks by taking credible and verifiable action against cross-border terrorism emanating from its soil and terrorist proxies, government sources said.

The sources said India has told the international community that it was Pakistan which has escalated matters by targeting military installations and what India did was counter-terrorism action.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on Wednesday that two Indian pilots were captured and later corrected it to one, if they cannot get a simple fact right, it speaks about the credibility of the Pakistan government, the sources said.

The sources said that at 9.45 p.m. on Wednesday, a sizeable force of Pakistan Air Force jets – over 20 in number – flew from a number of bases in Pakistan and approached the Indian air space.

Some crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and launched some laser-guided bombs. Their target was military installations but they missed narrowly because they could not come closer.

This, the sources said, happened against the backdrop of Imran Khan’s claim that Pakistan wanted to show its strength but it was false because their actual target were military installations.

Khan had said that Islamabad’s action was intended to convey that if India can come into Pakistan, then Pakistan can do the same.

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