The world will see it as the victory and honouring of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 Protocols, as the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot will be freed on Friday after New Delhi sought his unconditional, immediate and unharmed release, while India considered it as a Diplomatic victory. The ground reality is that both India and Pakistan at this juncture cannot afford to escalate the issues into a full blown war.
According to Pakistan Prime Minister, countries were ruined because of miscalculation and alleged that there was a ‘war hysteria’ in India, hence calling it a “peace gesture”. Khan told a joint session of the Pakistan National Assembly that the India-Pakistan situation should not “get out of hand” or otherwise Islamabad “will have to retaliate”.
On the other hand, the announcement about Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, taken prisoner a day earlier, came hours after India demanded his release and ruled out talks on the issue, saying Pakistan cannot use this issue for a deal.
This time Khan was caught in Catch 22 situation as he on many occasions has expressed that talk can solve many issues. Khan justified that the only purpose of Pakistan strike on India on February 27, 2019 was to demonstrate their capability and will. He stressed that they did not want to inflict any casualty on India as Pakistan wanted to act in a responsible manner.
Under the pressure from various countries to maintain Peace and security in the region, yet the Indian Air Force (IAF), Army and Navy said that they were on high alert and that Pakistani jets tried to target Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir a day earlier but were pushed back.
As both the affected countries- India and Pakistan, are making efforts to maintain a diplomatic move, the world is keeping a close watch on minute to minute development, as every country encourages India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost.
In the meantime, the Indian media also needs to maintain restrain while reporting on such sensitive issues, which is of national security. They need to be mindful that in their pursuit to presents news with ‘extra scoop’ and ‘new information’ especially in connection to India and Pakistan conflicts, they should not divulge sensitive information which can pose a threat to the national security or the safety of the military. This time too, like the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the media has exposed the identity of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and his entire family; normally the identity of Prisoner of War is not disclosed.
The peace gesture extended by Pakistan Prime Minister should be appreciated, however, it does not mean both the countries have come to terms. Hence, the Indian military is still on high alert, and the nation continues to stand in solidarity with an expectation that the media and social media too will be sensible in reporting such cases.