PM Khan Lauded by Indians for Demonstrating ‘Gesture of Peace’
“I’m sorry I forgot to say this earlier,” said the prime minister on the floor of the parliament. “I want to announce that we will release the Indian pilot we have in our custody tomorrow (Friday) as a gesture of peace towards India,” he added and the entire parliament broke into applause.
IAF pilot Abhinandan Varnathan was captured by Pakistani forces on Wednesday after the PAF shot down two Indian aircraft that intruded Pakistan’s airspace.
“With apologies & respect to Modiji, but today he has been outdone and outshone in diplomacy, war strategy and public outreach by a swashbuckling cricket captain,” tweeted Indian author and journalist, Sagarika Ghose.
“Every noble act makes a way for itself… your goodwill gesture is ‘a cup of joy’ for a billion people, a nation rejoices…
“I am overjoyed for his parents and loved ones,” tweeted Indian politician and ex-cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu.
“We in India may not like this, but in terms of pure optics, @ImranKhanPTI at the moment is winning the day by taking the moral high ground .. We have a strong case on terror but too many of our leaders busy calculating votes at the moment,” tweeted Rajdeep Sardesai, Indian author and journalist.
Pakistan Army personnel rescued the IAF pilot from villagers who wanted to thrash him. Abhinandan later praised Pakistan’s security forces in a recorded video message in which he said that Pakistan Army officers were ‘thorough gentlemen’.
Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed during his speech in the parliament that he had tried to contact his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Wednesday in an attempt to de-escalate the tense situation between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.