US responds over Pakistan decision to release captive IAF Pilot
*WASHINGTON - *
The United States has welcomed Pakistan's decision to release Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is currently in their custody after his fighter jet crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that Wing Commander Abhinandan will be released today as a "gesture of peace".
Pakistan detained the IAF pilot on Wednesday following a fierce engagement between the air forces of the two nations along the Line of Control or LoC when his MiG-21 fighter jet was downed.
"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, responding to a question on the announcement made by Imran Khan in the Pakistani parliament.
Simultaneously, the United States urged both India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions. Promoted: In Stores
- Pay Day is back link
"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.