The United States has welcomed Pakistan’s decision to release Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is currently in its custody after his fighter jet crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“We welcome Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment that Pakistan will release on Friday the Indian pilot held in its custody,” a US State Department spokesperson told news agency Press Trust of India.
“The United States continues to urge both sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation, including through direct communication. Further military activity will exacerbate the situation,” the US state department spokesperson said.
“We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds,” the spokesperson said.
The United States calls on Pakistan to abide by the UN Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe have in their country and to block their access to funds, the official said.
“This is a result of a Pakistan-based terrorist group’s brutal attack”, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, adding “I urge both countries to de-escalate the mounting tensions.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday had said that Islamabad would hand over the captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan to India on Friday as a “gesture of peace”. The pilot’s return to India is in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
Pakistan detained the IAF pilot on Wednesday following the attacks of the air forces of the two nations along the Line of Control or LoC. The MiG-21 fighter jet of Indian pilot was shot down by a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during the engagement.