Pakistan has said it will release an Indian Fighter Pilot it seized this week -as a "peace gesture" - following days of fighting between the two nuclear powers.
"This gesture of yours in releasing our pilot officer, wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman has won Pakistan a great respect within Pakistan, as well as in in the worldwide community". On India's side there were policemen lined up along the road while a huge crowd of Indians waved the country's flag and welcomed the pilot back.
Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir on February 14 by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad. Pakistan retaliated, shooting down two Indian aircraft on Wednesday and capturing a pilot.
The release of pilot Abhinandan is a gesture of peace from Pakistan, in order to de-escalate the soaring tensions with New Delhi.
The agency issued a statement on Friday saying all domestic and global flights will be allowed to and from the cities of Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta.
India said it scrambled MiG-21 Bison, Su-30 MKI and Mirage-2000 aircraft to intercept Pakistan's jets and has evidence, including the wreckage of an AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile fired by a Pakistani F-16.
The closure of Pakistani airspace disrupted not just the country's own air transport but also flights worldwide as airlines were forced to cancel or reroute flights to other destinations that pass over Pakistan.
Nonetheless, fresh skirmishes erupted today between Indian and Pakistani soldiers along the so-called Line of Control that divides disputed Kashmir between the two states.
"The Pakistan army looked after me really well, they are very professional", the pilot said while in uniform, adding that he saw potential for peace.
Tensions remain high, however, especially in Kashmir, where both countries fired barrages of shells across the de facto border at one another, leaving at least one dead as the troubled region braces for renewed hostilities. They have fought three wars, two directly dealing with the disputed region.
As India and Pakistan's common friend, China's position is quite delicate.
The violence this week marked the most serious escalation of the long-simmering conflict since 1999, when Pakistan's military sent a ground force into Indian-controlled Kashmir at Kargil.
The post is referring to the fact that, according to Indian media reports, Indian fighter jets dropped bombs on terrorist training camps in Pakistan at 3:30am local time.
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Asif Ghafoor, the director general of Pakistan Inter-Services Public Relations, had for his neighbors in India on Tuesday evening. Indian officials said three Pakistani jets had also entered Indian airspace, before being intercepted and forced turned back.
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