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Abhinandan Varthaman not released under any pressure, says Pak foreign minister

Abhinandan Varthaman not released under any pressure, says Pak foreign minister

As soon as he crossed over into India, Indian Air Force (IAF) took him by road to Amritsar and an IAF plane brought him to Delhi around mid-night.

In a fearsome 24 hour spell, two soldiers and two civilians died on the Pakistan side, its military said.

For its part, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its concern about escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan, calling on the parties to have a constructive political and diplomatic dialogue as it is the only effective and acceptable way of solving the crisis, Tengri News reported on Friday.

Pakistan said the Indian bombs hit a largely empty hillside without hurting anyone.

The decision to release the pilot, announced by Paksitan prime minsiter Imran Khan on Thursday, was met with cheers and hopes that the tension between the two countries would de-escalate.

Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan after the February 14 Pulwama attack claimed by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

A top Indian minister, meanwhile, said on Saturday the government would not share proof that "a very large number" of militants were killed in air strikes inside Pakistan this week. "IAF fighters managed to thwart the attempt by Pakistani fighters to target Indian military installations through laser-guided bombs".

The IAF pilot's release was seen as a major step towards defusing a tense situation triggered by India's retaliation over Pakistan's continued support for terrorism. The developments came a day after India conducted airstrikes against alleged militant positions in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

People carry national flags as they celebrate, after Pakistan shot down two Indian military aircrafts, in Lahore, Pakistan February 27, 2019.

Mohammad Latif, a laborer who is taking refuge at a government building vacated for sheltering displaced families, says, "Whenever India fire mortars, it's we who suffer".

"Pakistan Army troops gave a befitting response by targeting Indian posts", said a statement that accused the Indian army of deliberately targeting civilians.

"India is changing.This country has the strength to change the word meaning in dictionary also". When referred to the remarks by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi that he knows JeM chief Masood Azhar is in Pakistan and that he was in touch with him, Sareen said he has spoken the truth unlike most of his compatriots.

India and Pakistan have been locked into a dispute over the territory of Kashmir since partition in 1947.

Nevertheless, Pakistan retaliated on Wednesday with its own aerial mission.


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