New Delhi: "No deal. No negotiation. IAF pilot must be released immediately."
This is the strong message that India sent out to Pakistan after Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was taken into custody by forces across the LoC on Wednesday. A day later, Imran Khan announced that the pilot would be released on Friday in what he termed was his country's 'peace gesture.' His announcement though cannot hide India's firm and direct resolve to bring back the IAF pilot.
India had strongly condemned the vulgar display of the injured pilot on Wednesday and said it was a violation of the Geneva Convention. Pakistan had also been warned to hand back Wing Commander Varthaman. Sources said a day later that Pakistan was trying to create a 'Kandahar-like pressure' on India but New Delhi was resolute.
Meanwhile, New Delhi had also mobilised the world community with the Ministry of External Affairs briefing 10 diplomats to apprise them of the Indo-Pak situation and the status of the IAF pilot.
Signs that Pakistan was under pressure began showing when the country's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said earlier in the day on Thursday that the IAF pilot could be released if it assures peace with India. The announcement from his prime minister came just hours after.
Pakistan had called for dialogue with India but has failed to address the primary and grave concern of terrorism on its soil. New Delhi has maintained that Pakistan has not acted effectively against terrorist organisations which have repeatedly targeted India.