Anger over 'forced' video of Indian pilot amid new Kashmir deaths

Pakistan claims it shot down 2 Indian jets

Pakistani officials brought a captured Indian pilot to a border crossing with India to be handed over, while the country's civil aviation authority partially re-opened its airspace on Friday.

But in a sign that tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals could soon ease, a Pakistani Cabinet minister said a key train service between Pakistan and neighboring India would resume on Monday. India's MiG-21 fighter upgraded by Russian Federation possesses combat capabilities identical to those of the F-16 of Pakistan's Air Force, the editor-in-chief of National Defense magazine, Igor Korotchenko, said about recent clashes involving these planes.

Last month, a suicide bomber had attacked an Indian military convoy in Indian-occupied Kashmir's Pulwama district, which resulted in the death of more than 40 Indian paramilitaries.

Wing Commander Abhinandan was taken into custody by Pakistan on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison aircraft was shot down in PoK.

"As long as Pakistan is providing terrorists with a safe haven, there will be heightened tensions between the two countries", Gabbard said.

Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir state, said the video tainted Pakistan's gesture to return the pilot so quickly.

"It's a very irresponsible stand", Jaitley said at a conference organized by the India Today media group.

"That high moral ground you had bequeathed to yourselves slipped at the end".




The video provoked outrage among some social media users and journalists in India, who claimed that the video was "scripted" and heavily edited, thereby alleging that Islamabad was trying to hide what the pilot really meant to say.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "The nation is proud of your exemplary courage...our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians".

India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir since their independence from British rule in 1947. The deal has been embroiled in corruption allegations levelled by the opposition Congress party.

Following the bombing of the JeM training camp, the Pakistan Air Force carried out a retaliatory aerial combat, unsuccessfully targeting several Indian military installations. He had become the focus of renewed hostilities between the nuclear-armed rivals which have alarmed the global community.

"While in captivity, he was treated with dignity and in line with worldwide law", the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The IAF pilot's release was seen as a major step towards defusing a tense situation triggered by India's retaliation over Pakistan's continued support for terrorism.

The latest escalation started when Indian warplanes struck suspected terrorist camps on the Pakistani side on Tuesday, in retaliation for a suicide bombing in India two weeks earlier.

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