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Qatar's emir appreciates Pakistan's release of Indian pilot

Updated March 03, 2019

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Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani appreciated Pakistan's gesture of releasing the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan  in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal shared in a tweet on Sunday. — AP/File
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani appreciated Pakistan's gesture of releasing the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal shared in a tweet on Sunday. — AP/File

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in a telephone call with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday appreciated Pakistan's release of Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan — whose MiG 21 Bison aircraft was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jet after it violated Pakistani airspace — as a gesture of peace.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal in a tweet on Sunday said that the emir had underscored the importance of "immediate deescalation" in the situation between India and Pakistan and "offered his facilitation in this regard".

According to Qatar News Agency, both sides exchanged views on regional and international developments, especially differences between Pakistan and India.

The emir also called for calm between the two countries, QNA said.

India media reported on Saturday that the emir also spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone. According to News18, the two discussed the regional situation. Modi had said that "terrorism continues to pose [a] serious risk to peace and security in the region and beyond" and stressed the importance of "demonstratable and immediate action by the concerned for putting an end to all forms of terrorism and ending all support to it".

The phone call comes as Pakistan and India reel from a week of high escalation which had raised fears of an all-out war. The situation deescalated to a certain degree after Pakistan released the captured Indian pilot on Friday night.