New Delhi: India will not make any deal with Pakistan for the return of its Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot in Islamabad's custody, a person familiar with the developments said Thursday. The comment came after Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad that Pakistan was “ready to hand over the Indian pilot if it leads to de-escalation".

The person cited above made it clear that India would not allow Pakistan to use Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman—captured by Pakistan when his plane was shot down by the Pakistani Air Force on Wednesday, as a bargaining tool or a negotiating point. That was not a deal India was going to make, the person said, adding that India had already demanded the pilot’s safe return immediately.

Moreover, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has to walk the talk on investigating the February 14 Pulwama attack, PTI quoted people in the know as saying. India wants immediate, credible and verifiable action against terrorists and their proxies, they added. PTI sources also questioned Khan's statement on Wednesday that two Indian jets were downed in an air combat. "Was he not briefed or did he say an untruth?" they asked.

Denouncing Pakistan's breach of the Line of Control (LoC), the people said their force "specifically targeted Indian military facilities, while we targeted only JeM terror camp".

Close