Theresa May lauds PM Imran’s peace overtures amid Pak-India tensions

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision of releasing the Indian pilot, a move widely appreciated by the international community.

She welcomed the peace overtures by the prime minister amid heightened tensions between Pakistan and India, said a statement issued by the PM Office.

Prime Minister Imran apprised the British premier of Pakistan’s perspective on the developments since the Pulwama incident, in which nearly four dozen Indian soldiers were killed when a young Kashmiri drove a vehicle full of explosives into a military convoy in the Indian Occupied Kashmir district on February 14.

Prime Minister May welcomed her Pakistani counterpart’s decision of releasing Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, which has been widely appreciated by the international community.

She mentioned the need for both India and Pakistan to de-escalate tensions, adding that the UK was in touch with both sides in this regard.

Prime Minister Imran invited the UK premier for a visit to Pakistan with the latter reciprocating the gesture.

Tensions between Pakistan and Indian escalated rapidly following the February 14 suicide car bombing as India started pointing a finger at Pakistan after the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group which, Indian alleges, operates from Pakistan, purportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had offered India help in investigation and promised to take action against any group found involved in the incident. However, New Delhi rejected the offer and instead started whipping up war hysteria.

Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured by a local mob in Azad Jammu and Kashmir as Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down IAF’s two aircraft in response to airspace violation by Indian warplanes last week. Pakistan Army saved Varthaman from the perils of the angry crowd and took him into their custody.

Pakistan Army won praise from Twitterati on both sides of the border for treating Abhinandan with “dignity and respect”.