Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tried to contact Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thrice but received no positive response, according to a report.
Imran Khan wanted to apprise Modi about his decision to release the captured Indian pilot and reached out three times on Thursday but received no response, the Express Tribune said.
Later, during a joint Parliament session, the Pakistani Premier announced that Pakistan will release the captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, “as a peace gesture” to India.
According to the daily, a message was sent to the Prime Minister's House in New Delhi for a telephonic conversation between the leaders, but failed to garner a response.
During his speech in the Parliament, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that Pakistan desires peace and stability in the region as it was essential for the government’s efforts to pull the people out of poverty and attract investment. He also revealed that he tried to reach out to Modi for the sake of peace in the region.
“Tension is not in the interest of both the countries,” Imran Khan said. “I tried to talk to Prime Minister Modi yesterday…” the PM added.
However, Imran Khan maintained that Pakistan’s efforts for de-escalation should not be construed as its weakness. “It should not be taken as a wrong signal.”
Pakistan is to hand over the captured IAF pilot to Indian authorities at the Wagah-Attari Border on Friday.
Tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday.
It came 12 days after 40 CRPF personnel were killed when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.
Following the bombing of the JeM training camp, the Pakistan Air Force carried out retaliatory aerial strikes on India, attempting to target Indian military installations.
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