Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that they would release captive Indian Air Force pilot on Friday as a 'big peace gesture'. He was speaking in Pakistan Parliament.
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 solve 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.
"In our desire of peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody." - Prime Minister Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI pic.twitter.com/NdZ7juJebG— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) February 28, 2019
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.