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Pak should return Abhi immediately, no question of deal: India

February 28, 2019 16:04 IST

IMAGE: People pray for safe return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in Varanasi. Photograph: ANI

India has not asked for consular access to the Indian Air Force pilot captured by Pakistan, and is insisting on his unconditional and immediate return, government sources said on Thursday.

They asserted that there was no question of any deal on the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.


The sources said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has to walk the talk on investigating the February 14 Pulwama attack and that India wants immediate, credible and verifiable action against terrorists and their proxies.

"India has not asked for any consular access to the IAF pilot. We want him back immediately," a source said.

"The IAF pilot has to be repatriated unconditionally and immediately. There is no question of any deal," he said.

The sources also questioned Khan's statement on Wednesday that two Indian jets were downed in an air combat and asked 'was he not briefed or did he say an untruth'.

Denouncing Pakistan's breach of the Line of Control, they said their air force 'specifically targeted Indian military facilities, while we targeted only Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp'.

Asked on talks with Khan, the sources said Pakistan must first take 'concrete and specific anti-terror steps'.

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