UN chief welcomes Pakistan’s decision to release IAF pilot

Srinagar

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday welcomed Pakistan’s offer to release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured when his MiG-21 was shot down in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir.

Quoting UN chief’s Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, news agency IANS said: “The report of the release of the Indian pilot by the Pakistani authorities would be very much a welcome step. We would encourage both parties to do whatever they can to de-escalate the situation.”

Radio Pakistan quoted the UN chief’s Spokesman as having said that the Secretary-General is in touch with both Pakistan and India at various levels.

IANS quoted Dujarric as having said that de-escalating tensions “is the message that has been passed on by the United Nations and, I think, by the international community as a whole”.

Meanwhile, the President of the UN General Assembly, Maria Espinosa has also expressed concern over the situation and urged both countries to resolve their disputes through dialogue.

Radio Pakistan quoted her spokeswoman as having said that the president believes diplomatic negotiations provide the best means to settle problems.

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