Live: Pakistan to release IAF pilot Abhinandan tomorrow

  • IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman will be released by Pakistan on Friday as a gesture of peace by Imran Khan  
  • Abhinandan's father said he was proud of his son's bravery and hoped for his safe return home

Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan told a joint session of Parliament that IAF's captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released on Friday as a gesture of peace.

The surprise announcement came barely an hour after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Khan is ready to talk to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to de-escalate Indo-Pak tensions.

The announcement was greeted by thumping of desks by Pakistani lawmakers. 

28 Feb 2019, 07:51:30 PM IST

AF pilot’s release in consonance with Geneva convention

We see IAF pilot’s release as a gesture in consonance with Geneva convention, says IAF

We are happy that out pilot who was in Pak custody is being released. Once he is handed over, we will make further comments. We see this as a gesture in consonance with Geneva convention, says IAF.

28 Feb 2019, 07:34:04 PM IST

RGK Kapoor on bombing on JeM terror camps in Balakot

Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor on bombing on JeM terror camps in Balakot: Premature to say number of casualties on the camp, whatever we intended to destroy we got that result

28 Feb 2019, 07:29:11 PM IST

Visuals of cover of AARAM missile

Visuals of cover of AARAM missile fired from Pakistani F-16 aircraft found near the LoC in India

28 Feb 2019, 07:14:45 PM IST

Many factually incorrect statements by Pakistan, says IAF

Vice Air Marshal RGK Kapoor says, “On Feb 27 at 10 am IAF radars detected Pakistan Air Force which breached the Indian air space. The Pakistan aircraft was intercepted by IAF. One F-16 of Pakistan Air Force was shot down by MiG 21 bison. We lost one MiG 21 Bison but pilot landed in Pakistan territory."

28 Feb 2019, 07:05:24 PM IST

Joint briefing of Air Force, Army, Navy starts

28 Feb 2019, 06:41:02 PM IST

 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US continues to be very engaged with India and Pakistan, has spoken to leaders of both countries

28 Feb 2019, 06:10:41 PM IST

Indian Railways cancels Samjhauta Express from March 4: Sources

28 Feb 2019, 06:07:11 PM IST

Pakistan Army says troops on high alert along LoC 

The Pakistan Army said that its troops are on high alert along the LoC with all required safeguards to thwart any "Indian aggression".

28 Feb 2019, 05:48:20 PM IST

Russia offers to facilitate talks

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also offered to facilitate talks between the two sides.

The U.S., China, European Union and other world powers have urged restraint from the two nations as tensions escalate following tit-for-tat airstrikes in the wake of a suicide car bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14. 

28 Feb 2019, 05:47:44 PM IST

Trump expects decent news  

US President Trump said he expected "reasonably decent news" regarding the conflict between India and Pakistan, adding that the United States was trying to mediate.

"They have been going at it and we have been involved in trying to have them stop," Trump said in Hanoi, where he was attending a summit with North Korea's leader.

"We have been in the middle trying to help them both out."

28 Feb 2019, 05:45:01 PM IST

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has a message for Pakistan

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said his counterpart from Saudi Arabia was expected to visit Pakistan with a special message from Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who visited both Pakistan and India earlier this month.

Khan has already called for talks with India to prevent the risk of a "miscalculation" between their nuclear-armed militaries.

28 Feb 2019, 05:31:24 PM IST

India, Pakistan armies trade fire in Poonch, Rajouri  

Jammu: Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy mortar and small arms fire on Thursday on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Rajouri districts amid India-Pakistan tensions.

After heavy firing in Poonch district that started in the morning, the Pakistan Army violated the bilateral ceasefire at four places in neighbouring Rajouri district.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Lt Colonel Devender Anand said: "Continuing its nefarious designs, the Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Sunderbani, Mankote, Khari Karmara and Degwar sectors of LoC.

"After ceasefire violation first at 6 a.m. and then at 1 p.m. in Poonch, the Pakistanis used mortar shells and small arms to target Indian positions in these four sectors in Rajouri.

"The ceasefire violation started at 3 p.m. and is still going on. The Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively," the spokesperson said. (IANS)

28 Feb 2019, 05:23:15 PM IST

US Secretary of State Pompeo speaks to NSA Ajit Doval  

Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken to India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval amidst tense ties between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack and New Delhi's air strike against JeM terror training camp in Balakot.

Pompeo and Doval are understood to have discussed the current situation in the region during the telephonic conversation on Wednesday, the Secretary of State's office confirmed.

28 Feb 2019, 05:21:37 PM IST

Joint media briefing by Army, Navy, Air Force soon  

28 Feb 2019, 05:18:20 PM IST

Bollywood prays for safe release of Abhinandan  

New Delhi: Celebrities from the film world on Wednesday took to social media to pray for the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan

Karan Johar took to his Twitter handle and wrote, “Thoughts and strength to #WingCommandarAbhinandan amd his familly....India stands tall and proud with you."

Arjun Kapoor wrote, “My prayers with #wingcommanderabhinandan hope he is safe & we see him back on home soil very soon."

Anupam Kher wrote a message in Hindi, praying for Abhinandan’s safe return and also saluted the courage of the pilot. The veteran actor also shared the pilot’s picture.

Sushmita Sen too took to her Twitter handle and prayed for Abhinandan’s safe return. She tweeted, “We are all praying for the safe return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman #IAF gratitude from the daughter of a retired Indian Airforce officer @fbhutto for choosing humanity first & a way to peace Dugga Dugga & God bless."

Swara Bhasker wrote, “#BringHimHome #BringBackAbhinandhan BRING HIM BACK !!!!!!!," alongside a picture of the pilot. (ANI)

28 Feb 2019, 05:16:39 PM IST

Watching Indo-Pak tensions closely: Chinese military  

Beijing: China's military on Thursday said it was "closely watching" the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and called for restraint by both the neighbours.

Terming India and Pakistan as "friends of China", it also said both the countries should resolve the issue through dialogue and properly handle the differences to prevent further escalation of tensions.

28 Feb 2019, 05:10:23 PM IST

IAF pilot captured in Pakistan becomes face of escalating conflict  

An Indian pilot shot down over Pakistan and paraded by his captors has become a hero in his own country, a trump card for Islamabad and perhaps the key to bringing the arch-rivals back from the brink.

Footage of the airman identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman being beaten and interrogated has gone viral in India and Pakistan, and humanised an escalating crisis between the nuclear-armed foes. (AFP)

28 Feb 2019, 05:08:55 PM IST

India will act against terrorism if Pakistan doesn't, says govt  

India on Thursday indicated that it was willing to play the end game vis a vis Pakistan on terrorism.

A person familiar with the developments said that if Pakistan and the international community would not deal with terrorism emanating from Pakistan-controlled territory against India, India would act against it.

The comments come against the backdrop of India launching an aerial strike on Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 26 February. The Indian action was seen as a reprisal to the 14 February attack on a bus carrying CRPF personnel. The attack, claimed by a suicide bomber from the Pakistan-based Jaish e Mohammed terrorist group, killed 40 personnel.

28 Feb 2019, 05:08:05 PM IST

YouTube asked to remove Abhinandan's videos  

The IT Ministry has asked YouTube to remove 11 video links pertaining to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan during an air combat on Wednesday, according to sources.

The ministry had asked YouTube to remove the clips following directive from the Home Ministry, a government source said, adding that the said links have now been removed.

When contacted, a Google (which runs YouTube) spokesperson said the company complies with "valid legal requests from authorities wherever possible, consistent with our longstanding policy and act quickly to remove such material".

"Data on government requests to remove content from Google services is regularly updated in our transparency report," the spokesperson added.

Videos of the captured Indian Air Force pilot were being released on the internet and netizens shared these videos across social media platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook. Hashtags like #BringbackAbhinandan, #SayNoToWar, #MiG21, #F16 and #PakFakeClaim were trending as netizens from both the sides of border turned to social media to express their views. (PTI)

28 Feb 2019, 04:59:14 PM IST

Abhinandan's father says he is praying that his son does not get tortured and comes home safe and sound

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