The Indian government on Wednesday said it expects the “immediate and safe return” of an Indian Air Force pilot captured by Pakistan after an air combat that marked the worst escalation between the neighbours in decades.
New Delhi summoned the Pakistan envoy and lodged a strong protest over what it called an “unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan”, saying its jets had targeted military installations in India a day after Indian fighter jets crossed the Line of Control and carried out a strike at a major terror camp.
Pakistan initially claimed it had two Indian pilots, but amended later that “there is only one pilot” and he is being treated “as per norms of military ethics”. In various videos circulated by Pakistani accounts, the pilot was seen blindfolded and wounded, his arms tied behind his back, being interrogated. The videos were taken off as Pakistan faced allegations of violating the Geneva Convention for prisoners. Later, a video showed the pilot sipping tea, saying that “officers of the Pakistani army have looked after me well”.
India said it “strongly objects to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody.”