Wing Commander Abhinandan undergoing 'cooling down' process, is met by Nirmala Sitharaman


They said this gesture would establish that Pakistan was a peace loving country and wanted peace with its neighbouring countries especially India. Ms Sitharaman told the pilot that the entire nation is proud of his courage and determination.

Also in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, government official Umar Azam said Indian troops with heavy weapons "indiscriminately targeted border villagers" along the Line of Control, killing a boy and wounding three others.

India welcomed Pakistan's decision to release its pilot despite the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan failing to say whether the release was conditional.

Indian Air Force officials at the border confirmed to reporters that the pilot was back in their care and that he would be taken immediately for a detailed medical check-up, which is mandated because he had to eject from his plane.

Also Friday, Pakistan's civil aviation authority partially re-opened the country's airspace, allowing commercial passenger travel to four major cities, another sign that tensions with India were de-escalating.

Tensions escalated between Islamabad and New Delhi following a suicide attack on Indian security personnel in Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14, which killed over 40 paramilitary troopers.

Shortly after his landing, a video emerged allegedly showing Pakistani troops protecting him from a furious mob, purportedly demanding that the pilot be handed over to them.

While on March 1, IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman walked across the India-Pakistan border, a family in Pakistan is still mourning, unacknowledged.

Pakistan retaliated the strike by carrying attempting to target Indian military installations on Wednesday.

Moreover, what confirms the invalidity of so-called lynching by Pakistani public is the fact that pilots don official uniform during such an operation and with that distinctive uniform, how can the citizens confuse a Pakistani pilot with any Indian airman. "The Pakistani Army is very professional and I am impressed by it". He remained in Pakistan Army's custody since then.

Modi spoke for the first time about the captured pilot on Friday.

Tensions between the two countries escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday.

In his address at the inaugural function of the "Construction Technology India 2019" in New Delhi, PM Modi said, "We have to move forward as a parakrami (mighty) nation".

India has accused Pakistan of having a "direct hand" in the attack and providing sanctuary to the militants.

The Indian media reported that JeM - which is a proscribed entity in Pakistan - had claimed responsibility for the attack. Each country controls a section of the territory, separated by one of the most militarized borders in the world, known as the Line of Control, which has seen frequent shelling and several short-term conflicts.