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Last Updated : Feb 28, 2019 12:28 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman may be released soon: Report

Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistani forces in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after his MIG-21 Bison was shot down in an air combat, may be released soon, CNN-News18 reported quoting sources.

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Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistani forces in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after his MIG-21 Bison was shot down in an air combat, may be released soon, CNN-News18 reported quoting sources.

Sources told the channel that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had a long conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last evening for nearly half an hour. The US made supported India's stand amid tensions with its neighbour.

Doval made it clear that Pakistan should take serious action against Jaish E Mohammad and its chief Masood Azhar, the perpetrator behind the Pulwama attack on February 14, if it is serious about de-escalation.

The channel further said, quoting government sources, that the release of Wing Commander Varthaman has been made an immediate priority by India as part of any de-escalation activities.

Varthaman was captured earlier yesterday after he ejected but landed on the PoK side following an air combat. IAF planes also downed a Pakistani F-16 during the combat.

After Pakistani social media and official Twitter channels put up videos showing Varthaman in custody, the Indian government admitted that the IAF pilot had indeed been captured and called for his immediate release under the Geneva Convention.

The government also objected to the “vulgar display” of the injured personnel, saying it flouted the convention norms. O

As per the Geneva Convention, “which applies to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the signatories, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them”, prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities” and “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” is a grave breach of the protocol.

This morning, Pakistani newspaper The Nation quoted Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as saying that the country is willing to negotiate over Varthaman's return "with an open heart".
First Published on Feb 28, 2019 11:31 am
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