SUMIT SINGH

New Delhi: For the release of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan, Pakistan has resorted to blackmailing.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that his country is ready for the release of Abhinandan provided that India comes forward to negotiate. He said that Indian pilot is safe and his release can be done and Pakistan is ready to take positive steps just like before. Obviously this shows Pakistan’s frustration. He wants to blackmail India through Abhinandan.

Qureshi said, “Indian pilot is safe and we can think of his release. Pakistan is ready to take positive action this time as it was last time. I would like to tell the people of India that Pakistan is a responsible country.”

Wing commander Abhinandan was caught by Pakistani security forces when he fell down while trying to pushback Pakistan Air Force F16 jets, which had fired bombs in Indian territory in Kashmir on Wednesday morning.

Abhinandan is ‘Prisoner of War’ (POW) and according to the Geneva Convention, he should get all the facilities of a POW, but Pakistan is violating the Geneva Convention. In Pakistan, Abhinandan was paraded in front of the media and he was assaulted also. Not only this, Pakistan has released Abhinandan’s videos to break the morale of the Indian Army and Indian people and to make a psychological edge. By keeping him hostage, Pakistan is presenting it as their victory.

India is pressurizing Pakistan to release its pilot. India on Wednesday clearly told Pakistan that Abhinandan should be immediately released. Pakistan can not hold Abhinandan in custody for a long time, because, according to the Geneva Convention, Pakistan has to return the Indian pilot in every situation.

Indian pilot Nachiketa, who had been captured during the 1999 Kargil War, was returned. Pakistan has no alternative other than returning Abhinandan. Yet Pakistan is using him to bring India to the negotiating table, which reflects their frustration.

Indian External Affairs Ministry has expressed displeasure over the release of Abhinandan’s video. In India, people are very angry and they are demanding his immediate release.

Pakistani fighter planes once again tried to cross the Indian border but on Thursday, they had to run away before the Indian Air Defense’s strength.