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Pakistan Considering Returning Indian Pilot: Shah Mehmood

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said that Pakistan was considering to return Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman if it leads to de-escalation of tensions between the two countries.

Speaking to Geo, Qureshi said that he has received a dossier regarding the Pulwama Attack but has not examined it yet.

“I will examine the dossier with an open heart. I hope they had sent it earlier, but they opted to aggression and that lead to the situation getting worse,” he said, adding that “sending the Indian pilot back to his country de-escalates tensions, we are considering that.”

He revealed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) briefed the parliamentary leaders over the situation and that there was a meeting of the cabinet too.

He also said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was willing to talk to his Indian counterpart about the peace process. “PM Imran is ready to talk to Modi on telephone, but if Modi ready?” he questioned.

The minister also said that Pakistan has apprised the United Arab Emirates (UAE) about its reservations over inviting Indian FM Sushma Swaraj as guest speaker for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference. “We have the apprised the UAE about our reservations. They should have taken us into confidence over the matter.”

He reiterated Pakistan’s stand for peace saying that was was not the solution as it only leads to more crisis.

On Wednesday, two Indian jets were shot down by a vigilant PAF for intruding into Pakistan’s territory. Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was taken into custody.

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DG ISPR confirmed the arrest and said that Pakistan aimed peace, but had to respond to Indian aggression. He asked the international community to intervene and help bolster the peace process. Prime Minister Imran Khan also reiterated Pakistan’s peace-friendly stancesaying that war was not the solution to the crisis.

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