Willing to return Indian Air Force pilot if it leads to de-escalation: Pakistan Foreign Minister

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 28 February 2019, 04:44 PM
India cannot solve the Kashmir issue through strength. We are ready to talk on the issues of Kashmir and terrorism with India: Shah Mehmood Qureshi
India cannot solve the Kashmir issue through strength. We are ready to talk on the issues of Kashmir and terrorism with India: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said Pakistan is willing to consider returning the Indian pilot if it means de-escalation of ties between the two countries. "India handed over a dossier to the acting High Commissioner of Pakistan a day earlier and we will examine it. I will evaluate the dossier with an open heart and then see if talks will be held on that," Geo News quoted Shah as saying. "Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to hold a telephonic conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.

“India cannot sol ve the Kashmir issue through strength. We are ready to talk on the issues of Kashmir and terrorism with India. They can come and sit down and we will have a dialogue," he said.

The foreign minister also thanked US President Donald Trump for his statement on the Pakistan-India tension. "They have been going at it and we have been involved in trying to have them stop and we have some reasonably decent news hopefully that will be coming to an end. It’s been going on for a long time for decades and decades. There is a lot of dislikes unfortunately so we have been in the middle trying to help them both out, see if we can get some organisation and some peace. And I think that is probably going to be happening,” the US president said.

While addressing the nation which was telecast live, Khan said: "When India stuck yesterday morning, the army chief and I spoke. We did not respond in haste — we did not have a complete assessment of the damage cause and it would have been irresponsible on our part as it may have resulted in casualties on their side. Once we assessed the damage caused, we were ready to take action.

"The sole purpose of our action was to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same. That was the only purpose of what we did," he said.

His comments came minutes after the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said that Pakistan Air Force targeted military installations in India in response to Indian counter-terrorism operations but their attempts were foiled successfully though one Indian pilot is "missing in action".

First Published: Thursday, February 28, 2019 02:21 PM
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