Pakistan will release Wing Commander Abhinandan tomorrow “as a peace gesture”, their Prime Minister Imran Khan has confirmed.
BREAKING: Pakistan PM Imran Khan says “as a peace gesture we are releasing Wing Commander Abhinandan tomorrow” | READ https://t.co/kd3R6alBo1
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) February 28, 2019
Earlier, India had made it clear that India is not going to hold any talks or negotiations as far as the safe return of Abhinandan Vartaman is concerned. A source had said, “We are not in a normal situation. can’t let the mood of the nation depend on an individual. We should not allow Pakistan to utilise one individual (Wing Commander Abhinandan) to change the mood of the nation. Do not let Pakistan use this. We must guard against this.
India has also made it clear that for any talks to take place between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan, first, Imran Khan needs to take ‘Immediately, credible and verifiable’ action against terrorism that breeds on its soil.
Imran Khan has also been quoted as saying that he ‘tried calling’ Prime Minister Modi last night.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 28, 2019
It has to be remembered that Pakistan was bound by international conventions to return Wing Commander Abhinandan to India safe and sound. Therefore, the attempt to portray it as a ‘peace gesture’ rings extremely hollow, especially after India had made it clear that there won’t be negotiations in this regard and expects him to be returned immediately.
Even yesterday, after violating Indian airspace and attempting to attack Indian military installations in an obvious escalation, Imran Khan had proposed talks between the two countries. Even earlier today, Pakistan attempted to intrude upon Indian airspace before being chased away by Indian jets.
Under such circumstances, when Pakistan is engaging in an escalation of matters, the decision to return Wing Commander Abhinandan ought to be seen as Pakistan adhering to international conventions rather than any real ‘peace gesture’.