India ‘expects Pilot Abhinandan’s immediate return, no question of any deal’: Report


Srinagar: India expects its Wing Commander Abhinandan to be treated in a humane manner and be returned immediately, with no question of a deal, news agency ANI reported followingPakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s comment that his country was willing to return the captured pilot if it leads to de-escalation of tensions between the two countries.

“If Pakistan thinks they have a card to negotiate with then they are mistaken. India expects the Wing Commander to be treated in a humane manner,” news gathering agency ANI quoting sources said.

The report said that Pakistan is trying to create a Kandahar type pressure but India will not give in. “There will be no deal or talks on Wing Commander Abhinandan’s release.”

The development occurs after Pakistan carried out retaliatory airstrikes across the Line of Control (LoC)  on Wednesday following India’s ‘pre-emptive airstrike’ across LoC on Tuesday. During the strike, Pakistan released images of ‘captured IAF Wing Commander’ after Pakistan Air Force on Wednesday.

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Earlier, images of an Indian aircraft that reportedly crashed in a field in Budgam were seen. Pakistan has denied engaging with the aircraft’s, but said it downed two Indian jets inside its airspace, and captured one pilot alive.

Wednesday saw a terse exchange between India and Pakistan, with the former stating that it had warded intruding Pakistani fighter jets in Kashmir, shooting down an F-16 that fell on the Pakistani-administered side, while an Indian MiG-21 was lost in action, while the latter claiming that it had shot down the plane, which crashed in its territory, and displayed an Indian Air Force pilot it had captured.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Foreign Secretary of India had said that they have ‘struck the biggest camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot in the pre-dawn ‘preemptive strikes across the Line of Control’.

“India struck the biggest camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot and a large number of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis planning terror strikes were eliminated,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said.

Gokhale had added that India’s “non-military preemptive action” was specifically targeted at the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp.

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The outfit had claimed the responsibility of the Pulwama suicide bombing of February 14 in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed.

“Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country and Fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose,” he had said.

“India has given proof many times seeking action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and others at terror camps so big, that they can train hundreds of jihadis and terrorists at any given time. But due to Pakistan’s inaction, this step was necessary and had to be taken,” he had said.

Earlier, India has said that they carried out a pre-dawn strike on a ‘militant camp’ across the Line of Control soon after Pakistan army said that Indian fighter jets were forced to leave after they crossed the LoC in Muzaffarabad sector.

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According to reports, the strike was carried out at around 3:30 Tuesday morning by 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. The aircraft dropped, according to reports, ‘1,000 kg laser-guided bombs on a major militant camp across the Line of Control, completely destroying it’, news agency ANI reported, quoting Air Force sources.

Earlier, Pakistan Army claimed that the Indian military planes “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector but were forced to go back after Pakistan Air Force “immediately scrambled”.

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