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Willing to Consider Returning IAF Pilot If It Leads to 'De-escalation' of Tension, Says Pak Foreign Minister

While Pakistan is mulling the repatriation of the IAF pilot, New Delhi said that India has not asked for consular access to the IAF pilot and is insisting on his unconditional and immediate return.

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Updated:February 28, 2019, 3:33 PM IST
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Willing to Consider Returning IAF Pilot If It Leads to 'De-escalation' of Tension, Says Pak Foreign Minister
File photo of Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. (REUTERS)
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Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said that Islamabad is willing to consider returning the detained IAF pilot if it leads to "de-escalation" of tension with India.

"Pakistan is willing to consider returning the Indian pilot if it leads to de-escalation," Qureshi said here.

While Pakistan is mulling the repatriation of the IAF pilot, New Delhi said that India has not asked for consular access to the IAF pilot and is insisting on his unconditional and immediate return.

On Wednesday, Pakistan detained Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control in which a Pakistani jet was downed. IAF also lost a MiG 21 jet in the engagement.

Shortly after the pilot's capture, India summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan and demanded the immediate and safe return of the IAF pilot.

It has also been made clear to Pakistan that no harm should be caused to the Indian defence personnel, the External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi, adding that it has conveyed strong objection to the neighbouring country at the "vulgar display" of an injured personnel in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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