WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Mar 09, 2019, 08.02 PM
The Border Security Force has handover over a Pakistani national, who had crossed over the international border on Friday, to the Pakistan Rangers.
The BSF said the Pakistani national was handed over as a "goodwill gesture" and to "maintain peace and tranquillity" along the International Border. Pakistan had earlier released the Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as a "peace gesture".
The Indian Air Force had on February 26 conducted an air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunwa province. (The air strike had come 12 days after the suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama which had killed 40 personnel. The attack had been claimed by the JeM.)
Pakistan hit back a day later, dropping bombs on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
Pakistan said it did not cross the LoC. India said the Pakistani bombs had been aimed at Indian military installations but that they missed their targets.
India had scrambled jets to chase out the Pakistani planes.
One of those Indian planes — a MiG 21 Bison — had been flown by Abhinandan who took down a Pakistani F-16 but was then shot down too.
He spent two nights in Pakistani custody before being released.
His release had very quickly de-escalated tensions between India and Pakistan.
The Pakistani national had crossed over the international border on Friday. He was handed over today by the BSF to the Pakistani Rangers.