Politics

President Erdogan commends Khan As Indian citizens call for peace

The Trump Administration is about to discover that the best way to deal with Turkey is by velvet glove and not a thumping big iron fist

Since the safe return of the Indian pilot, hundreds of Indian scholars, intellectuals and citizens have called for restraint and de-escalation

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed the release of captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistan.

He said he had spoken to Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi on Pak-India tensions, and that Turkey was ready to play its role in de-escalating the situation.

The Turkish president said that reducing bilateral tensions was in the interest of both countries.

Tensions between India and Pakistan reached an all-time high following Indian incursions into Pakistani airspace and subsequent downing of two Indian aircraft by Pakistan Air Force.

Indian warplanes intruded into Pakistani airspace in the dark of night on February 26, however, they turned back swiftly soon after Pakistan Air Force scrambled its fighter jets.

Whilst trying to escape, fleeing Indian jets dropped their payload in a hilly forest area near the northern Pakistani town of Balakot, about 40 km (25 miles) from the Line of Control (LoC).

Pakistan, however, released the captured pilot on Friday as a “gesture of peace”.

But tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours still prevail, with Russia and other regional powers mediating to de-escalate them.

Since the safe return of the Indian pilot, hundreds of Indian scholars, intellectuals and citizens have called for restraint and de-escalation of tension following weeks of hostility with Pakistan.

His release from captivity dominated Indian headlines on Saturday and alongside that came the headlines for peace and recognition of Imran Khans pragmatic leadership.

This is a contrast from 7 days ago when the tweets were considerably more productive from Bollywood celebrities.

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India has evidently decided against further military action. No doubt, it is now convinced that Pakistan would respond again. The inherent danger of escalation to a full-blown war between nuclear-armed adversaries has perhaps dawned on New Delhi.

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