UN chief lauds Pak PM for freeing IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman

Washington: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lauded the decision of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to free Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, a move easing the escalating tension between India and Pakistan, on Friday.

“The report of the release of the Indian pilot by the Pakistani authorities would be very much a welcome step,” the spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric was quoted as saying by Geo News.

“We would encourage both parties to do whatever they can to deescalate the situation and this is the message that has been passed on by the United Nations and, I think, by the international community as a whole,” the spokesperson added.

Dujarric further stated that Guterres was in touch with both India and Pakistan at various levels.

IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman returned home from Pakistan on Friday, two days after he was taken into custody by the Pakistan army when his MiG 21 fell in PoK while he was chasing Pakistani F-16 fighters which had transgressed into the Indian airspace.

India used diplomatic and military pressure to ensure that Pakistan releases Abhinandan unconditionally, top sources said in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Espinosa, also expressed concern over the situation and urged the two neighbouring countries to resolve their disputes through negotiations.