Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

British PM welcomes Pakistan's release of Indian pilot, stresses de-escalation

Updated March 03, 2019

Email

Prime Minister Imran Khan and UK Prime Minister Theresa May had a telephone conversation about tensions with India on Sunday. — AFP/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan and UK Prime Minister Theresa May had a telephone conversation about tensions with India on Sunday. — AFP/File

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday welcomed Pakistan's release of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan — whose MiG 21 Bison aircraft was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force after it violated Pakistani airspace — as a gesture of peace.

In a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan, May also stressed the need for both India and Pakistan to "de-escalate" the recent tension between them, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.

She added that her country "was in touch with both sides in this regard", according to the statement.

A statement issued by May's office said she had "welcomed [Khan's] commitment to reducing tensions with India", and that the two leaders discussed the "need to address the causes of this conflict".

"The Prime Minister [May] emphasised the importance of Pakistan taking action against all terrorist groups, in support of global efforts to combat terrorism," the spokesperson for 10 Downing Street added.

Prime Minister Khan meanwhile apprised his UK counterpart of "Pakistan’s perspective" on the developments that have transpired since the bombing in Indian-occupied Kashmir's Pulwama area, which left more than 40 Indian paramilitaries dead, the Pakistan FO said.

The premier also extended an invitation to May to visit Pakistan which was reciprocated by the British prime minister.

The phone call between the two leaders comes as Pakistan and India reel from a week of high tensions which had raised fears of an all-out war. The situation de-escalated to a certain degree after Pakistan released the captured Indian pilot on Friday evening.