Captured Indian pilot to be returned through Wagah border today

This handout photograph released by Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on February 27, 2019, shows captured Indian pilot looking on as holding a cup of tea in the custody of Pakistani forces in an undisclosed location. (ISPR via AFP)
Updated 01 March 2019

Captured Indian pilot to be returned through Wagah border today

  • • PM Khan announced on Thursday to release the Indian pilot as a "gesture of peace"
  • • Pakistan downed two Indian fighter jets on Wednesday, capturing Wing Commander Abhinandan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will release the captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot through Wagah border post today, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi confirmed on Friday. 

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was taken into custody by Pakistan army on Wednesday after an aerial combat between the two countries in which two Indian fighter jets were shot down.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had said on Thursday addressing a joint session of the Parliament that Pakistan will release the Indian pilot on Friday as a “gesture of peace” to de-escalate tensions with his country’s nuclear-armed eastern neighbor.

“As a peace gesture, we will be releasing him tomorrow,” he announced while addressing a joint session of parliament.

Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian fighter jets that had breached the Line of Control, or the de facto border separating the Indian- and Pakistani-administered portions of Kashmir, on Wednesday morning, before capturing a pilot — Wing Commander Abhinandan. India has already asked Pakistan to release its fighter pilot.

After being shot down, the Indian pilot was captured by locals before being taken into custody by the army personnel. “The officers of Pakistan Army have looked after me very well,” Abhinandan can be heard saying in a video released by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) which is the military’s media wing.

As part of a policy statement on the floor of the House, Prime Minister Khan added that he had tried to speak to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on telephone, reasoning that the recent escalation was neither in the interest of Pakistan nor that of India. “We aren’t afraid of anything, but want peace,” he continued.


London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

Updated 22 February 2020

London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

  • Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday
  • Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday

LONDON: London police on Saturday charged a 29-year-old homeless man with causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an illegal knife he used to stab a mosque leader during prayers.
Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday.
London police quickly ruled out a terror motive.
Maglad was treated at a London hospital and returned to the mosque for Friday’s evening service with his arm wrapped in a sling,
“I forgive him. I feel very sorry for him,” Maglad told reporters on Friday.
“To me, as a Muslim, I don’t need to put any hatred in my heart.”
Several regulars at the Regent’s Park area mosque in northwest London said they had seen Horton attend a few services in the past year.
Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday.