As a peace gesture, will release Indian pilot tomorrow: Imran Khan | KNO

Says tried to make an unsuccessful contact with PM Modi last night
As a peace gesture, will release Indian pilot tomorrow: Imran Khan | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, February 28 (KNO) : The captured Indian fighter pilot who was attacked by a mob and then paraded on video by Pakistan’s army, will be released, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday. "We have an Indian pilot. As a peace gesture we will release him tomorrow," Khan told a joint sitting of parliament in the capital, Islamabad. According to KNO, Khan also said he had unsuccessfully tried to make telephone contact with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Wednesday night. Indian media have given his name as Abhinandan Varthaman. Following Pakistani villagers and soldiers filming his capture and captivity on Wednesday in clips, that have since gone viral on social media, the pilot identified by Islamabad as Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan has fast emerged as the human face of the dangerous flare-up between the arch-foes. Indian media have given his name as Abhinandan Varthaman. Varthaman and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have been at the heart of the crisis between India and Pakistan after the latter claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter jets in response to the bombing of "terror" targets inside Pakistan. Tensions have risen since a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based armed group, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), in Indian-administered Kashmir killed at least 42 Indian paramilitary forces on February 14. But the risk of an all-out conflict rose dramatically on Tuesday when India launched air raids on what it said was a JeM training base. In one video posted on social media, the pilot is seen in an ankle-deep stream of water with a bloodied face being kicked by a group of man in the disputed Kashmir. In the second part of the video the pilot is seen blindfolded and can be heard saying "I've got hurt and I would request some water". He then reveals his name and rank before politely fending off questions from soldiers by saying: "I'm not supposed to tell you that." In another video, posted on Twitter by Pakistan's state broadcaster, PTV news, the pilot is shown relaxed while saying "I would like to put this on record and I would not change my statement if I go back to my country. The officers of the Pakistan Army have looked after me very well. They are thorough gentlemen.”(KNO)