Hyderabad airport bans entry of visitors amidst tensions between India and Pakistan

AFP 2018  HANDOUT  ISPR Pakistan to Release Indian Pilot on Friday as'Peace Gesture- Prime Minister

He was captured on February 27 by Pakistan following a dogfight between the two air forces in which his MIG-21 was shot down.

"While in captivity, he was treated with dignity and in line with worldwide law".

On Thursday Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said the pilot's release was a "peace gesture" to India.

An Indian pilot released by Pakistan went back to India Friday night through Wagah border crossing near Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Wing Commander Abhinandan's parents, Air Marshal S Varthaman (Retired) and mother Shobha Varthaman, who is a doctor, were greeted with cheers and claps by passengers when they boarded a flight from Chennai to New Delhi on Thursday evening. The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. He told AP that the neighbor's forces were "indiscriminately targeting border villagers", and added that Pakistani troops were "befittingly" responding to the Indian artillery barrage. "Vande Mataram!" he tweeted.

Soldiers from India and Pakistan have targeted each other along the volatile frontier in disputed Kashmir, killing at least six civilians and wounding four others, officials said.

"The Pakistani military is on full red alert, they are flying constant air patrols all over Pakistan and although the airspace has been open, the movement of aircraft between India and Pakistan, especially commercial aircraft is still under restrictions", said Hyder.

The latest wave of tensions began after the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing by a Kashmiri militant on Indian paramilitary forces.

The Himalayan region has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence in 1947. Islamabad denies such camps exist.

Pakistan held Abhinandan after fighter jets of both nations engaged in an air battle following an unsuccessful attempt to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes.

The violence this week marked the most serious escalation of the long-simmering conflict since 1999, when Pakistan's military sent a ground force into Indian-controlled Kashmir at Kargil.

India has not named the pilot officially but local media has reported the pilot is Abhinandan Varthaman. In the same clip, the pilot was also seen enjoying tea.

Pakistan media praised the government for releasing the pilot.

The family members - a 24-year-old woman, her 5-year-old son and 9-month-old daughter - were killed in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch, said a senior police official. His handover took several hours as procedures including a medical checkup to verify his health and condition were completed before he was turned over to Indian officials.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh who had on Thursday offered to receive Abhinandan at the Wagah border chose not to, so as to "ensure that the defence protocol is not violated in any way".

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