New York (Agencies): United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday urged India and Pakistan to keep up the “positive momentum” generated by the release of captive Indian fighter pilot by Pakistani authorities, and to hold talks to de-escalate the tension.
According to a statement issued by his deputy spokesperson Farhan Aziz Haq, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged the two neighbouring nations to hold talks to de-escalate the tensions between them, saying his "good offices remain available should both sides agree"
"We welcome the news of the Pakistani authorities releasing the captive Indian pilot today," he said, referring to the release of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan, whose warplane was shot down by Pakistani jets on Wednesday.
The spokesman added that the Secretary-General calls on both parties to sustain this positive momentum and engage in further constructive dialogue.
On Friday night, Pakistan handed over the captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India as a goodwill gesture as the two neighbours scaled back a confrontation that had prompted world powers to intervene.
Addressing the joint session of the Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to release Abhinandan ‘as a peace gesture’ but warned that the desire for de-escalation should not be misunderstood as weakness. He added that Pakistan was fully prepared to retaliate against any aggression.