Pakistan releases captured Indian pilot in 'gesture of peace'

Pakistan releases captured Indian pilot in 'gesture of peace'

Pakistan releases captured Indian pilot in 'gesture of peace'

India's MiG-21 fighter upgraded by Russian Federation possesses combat capabilities identical to those of the F-16 of Pakistan's Air Force, the editor-in-chief of National Defense magazine, Igor Korotchenko, said about recent clashes involving these planes.

While the government tried to keep a relatively tight lid on the actual handover at the border on Friday, Indians enthusiastically celebrated their Air Force pilot's release online, with the #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan hashtag spreading fast across social media.

The Indian military said its forces returned the fire.

Pakistan also tried to target Indian military installation the next day.

India confirmed the loss of one of its MiG-21s and the capture of its pilot.

Since being partitioned in 1947, the two South Asian nations have fought three wars - in 1948, 1965 and 1971 - two of them over Kashmir.

The skirmish broke out Friday evening and continued for several hours in frontier Poonch district, about 180 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, according to a senior police official posted in Poonch.

He added that Pakistani troops were "befittingly" responding to the Indian shelling.

The train service, known as Samjhauta Express, was suspended by Pakistani authorities this past week, stranding people on both sides.


The latest conflict arose on February 14 when a suicide bomber from Indian Kashmir attacked a paramilitary convoy on the Indian-controlled side of border, killing more than 40 troops.

Residents of the Pakistani border town of Chikhoti reported heavy shelling overnight and Friday morning.

In Pakistani-administered Kashmir, many displaced families urged the global community to play its role in resolving the issue of Kashmir so that they can live peacefully.

Tensions have been running high since Indian aircraft crossed into Pakistan on Tuesday, carrying out what India called a pre-emptive strike against militants blamed for a February 14 suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troops.

"We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information on the potential misuse of American-made F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan against India in violation of the end-user agreement", PTI quoted US State Department as saying.

"While in captivity, he was treated with dignity and in line with global law", the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In Pakistani-administered Kashmir, many displaced families urged the worldwide community to help resolve the issue of Kashmir so that they can live peacefully.

India seemed wary of turning the pilot's homecoming into a spectacle.

Donning a blue blazer and grey pants, the IAF pilot crossed over to India via the Wagah-Attari border and was received by senior air force officers and his parents.

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