Pakistan-India tensions simmer despite pilot’s release
Staff Host Account
/ Categories: Islam Times-English

Pakistan-India tensions simmer despite pilot’s release

The flare up between the two arch foes appeared to be easing along the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday after Pakistan handed back Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian pilot who was captured after Islamabad shot down his MiG-21 fighter jet this week over the alleged violation of Pakistani airspace. Pakistan hailed Abhinandan's return as "as a goodwill gesture aimed at de-escalating rising tensions with India" after weeks of unease that threatened to escalate into an all-out war. However, reports emerged on Saturday that shelling across the LoC, which acts as a de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region, continued despite efforts by the international community to prevent a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. The Pakistani military announced that its air force and navy "continue to be alert and vigilant," while two of its soldiers were killed after exchanging fire with Indian troops along the LoC. India's military also accused Pakistan of firing mortar shells across the Line of Control. Separately, a furious backlash erupted in India on Saturday over a video, in which the Indian pilot shot down by Pakistan was praising his captors. Media reports claimed that Varthaman's return to India had been held up because the pilot had been forced to make the video before his release. In the video distributed by the Pakistani military, he praised the professionalism of the Pakistan’s army and lashed out at Indian media for creating war hysteria. "The army personnel saved me from the mob. The Pakistani army is very professional and I am impressed by it," Varthaman said. India's social media also criticized the video, which was tweeted by the official account of the Pakistani government before being removed a short while later. The tensions between the two neighbors escalated following a car bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14. India accused the main Pakistani intelligence agency of involvement and vowed retaliation. The tensions then reached a peak on Tuesday, when India said it had conducted “preemptive” airstrikes against what it described as a militant training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory. Indian troops are in constant clashes with armed groups seeking Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan. India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.

Link to original article

Previous Article US-led coalition bombs eastern Syrian town with white phosphorus munitions
Next Article Pakistan welcomes Iran’s offer to help settle Islamabad-New Delhi differences
64 Rate this article:
No rating

Leave a comment

Add comment

«May 2019»