No Question of Deal, India Wants Captured IAF Pilot's 'Immediate' Return: Sources
The sources said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has to walk the talk on investigating the February 14 Pulwama attack and that India wants immediate, credible and verifiable action against terrorists and their proxies.
Illustration by Mir Suhail (News18)
New Delhi: India has not asked for consular access to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF pilot captured by Pakistan, and is insisting on his unconditional and immediate return, government sources said on Thursday. They also asserted that there was no question of any deal on the officer’s return.
The sources said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has to walk the talk on investigating the February 14 Pulwama attack and India wants immediate, credible and verifiable action against terrorists and their proxies.
"India has not asked for any consular access to the IAF pilot. We want him back immediately," a source said. "The IAF pilot has to be repatriated unconditionally and immediately. There is no question of any deal," he said.
The sources also questioned Khan's statement on Wednesday that two Indian jets were downed in an air combat and asked "was he not briefed or did he say an untruth".
Denouncing Pakistan's breach of the Line of Control, they said their air force "specifically targeted Indian military facilities, while we targeted only JeM terror camp". Asked on talks with Khan, the sources said Pakistan must first take "concrete and specific anti-terror steps".
The aerial engagement between India and Pakistan for the first time since the 1971 war marked a dramatic escalation of confrontation prompting world leaders to urge the two neighbouring countries to exercise "utmost restraint".
India said it shot down an F-16 warplane of Pakistan while it lost a MiG 21 during the fierce engagement between the air forces of the two countries along the Line of Control.
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