UN’s Guterres Hails PM Khan’s Move to Free Captured Indian Pilot

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to release the captured Indian fighter pilot in what was seen as an effort to deescalate the gravest crisis between the two countries in years.

“The report of the release of the Indian pilot by the Pakistani authorities would be very much a welcome step,” UN chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in response to a question at a regular briefing at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York.

The Indian pilot, whose plane was downed by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets on Wednesday, was then taken into custody.

“We would encourage both parties to do whatever they can to deescalate the situation and this is the message that has been passed on by the United Nations and, I think, by the international community as a whole,” the spokesperson added.

Dujarric said Guterres was in touch with both India and Pakistan at various levels.

Meanwhile, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Espinosa, who visited Pakistan recently, also expressed concern over the situation and urged the two neighbouring countries to resolve their disputes through dialogue.

Her spokesperson said Espinosa believes diplomatic negotiations provided the best means to settle problems.