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Pakistan partially re-opens airspace, ready to hand over Indian pilot

03 March, 2019

Tensions between India and Pakistan reached an all-time high following Indian incursions into Pakistani airspace and subsequent downing of two Indian aircraft by Pakistan Air Force.

Islamabad took 11 years to officially acknowledge that Pakistan Army's 453 soldiers and officers were killed in the 1999 Kargil War.

Indian media reported that all education institutions within a five-kilometer radius of the LoC remain closed Saturday for a fifth consecutive day.

Hundreds of scholars, intellectuals and citizens in India on Saturday called for restraint and a de-escalation of tension following weeks of hostility with Pakistan.

The second reason that Pakistan is unlikely to officially announce the death of Wing Commander Shahaz-ud-Din is because it will embarrass not only Pakistani Army but also Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan before the global community and within Pakistan.

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals have soared since a suicide bombing in Kashmir on February 14 by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militants killed 40 Indian paramilitaries. "Pakistan believes in fake news", he said and pointed out how Pakistani Army initially claimed that it had two Indian pilots in its custody while the truth was that only one was Indian.

Since overnight Friday, a total of at least six civilians have been killed on both sides of Kashmir.

Following which, there was retaliation by Pakistan who violated Indian air space with F-16 fighter jets.

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Pakistan's alleged use of an F-16 may have been in breach of its end-user agreement with the United States.

The former IAF chief expressed happiness over the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman yesterday from Pakistan after being in captivity of Pakistan army, saying, "we (defence forces) know what it means" coming back from the enemy territory as "others don't go there".He termed as a "fake" a video about Varthaman in which it is claimed that he praised the Pakistan Army."The video was fake".

People carry national flags as they celebrate, after Pakistan shot down two Indian military aircrafts, in Lahore, Pakistan February 27, 2019.

Pakistan touted Abhinandan's return as "as a goodwill gesture aimed at de-escalating rising tensions with India" after weeks of unease that threatened to spiral into war.

India mounted huge pressure on Pakistan through the worldwide community, with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval holding talks with the U.S. and other P-5 countries, the sources said. BCCI salutes your courage and we believe that coming generations will take inspiration from you.

Qureshi also said a top Saudi diplomat would soon visit Pakistan and India.

Nevertheless, Pakistan retaliated on Wednesday with its own aerial mission.

The statement added that "the climate of jingoism" obscured the truth that the principle victims of such conflict were Kashmiris, and it led to "the erosion of democracy including the freedom of expression and dissent".

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