Abu Dhabi crown prince reaches out to Imran, Modi to ease tensions

Sheikh Zayed urges both leaders to engage in dialogue

News Desk February 28, 2019
Prince Mohammed urges both leaders to engage in dialogue in telephonic conversations.PHOTO: EXPRESS

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan has urged both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian premier Narendra Modi to quell ongoing hostilities.

In a telephone call to both the leaders, Sheikh Zayed underscored the need to deal wisely with the escalation between the two nuclear-armed countries, as well as, giving priority to dialogue.

The statement was issued on the UAE ruler's Twitter account.

Meanwhile, according separate statement issued by Pakistan, Sheikh Zayed lauded PM Khan on his statesman-like speech in the joint session of Parliament.

He appreciated Khan's willingness to resolve all issues in a peaceful manner.

A raft of countries including the United States, China and Saudi Arabia have called for both nations to desist from military escalation over the past three days.

Imran Khan wins praise over captured pilot's release

The prime minister, in his address, had said that Islamabad would release captured Indian pilot Friday as a peace gesture.

The government’s desire for de-escalation should not be confused as weakness, he added.

On Wednesday, Indian jets were shot down a day after India Air Force planes recklessly violated Pakistan’s airspace and dropped payloads in a mountainous Pakistani village and Delhi dubbed it “air strike on the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group” in Pakistan.

The Pakistani military exposed India’s fictitious claim and invited “anyone and everyone – including foreign diplomats, military attaches and UN military observers” – to visit the area where the Indian aircraft dropped bombs and see if any training camp existed there.

Though the Indian bombs did not cause any major damage or casualties, Pakistan had vowed to retaliate against the flagrant violation of its airspace, fuelling fears of a disastrous confrontation in the region.

Top Indian military chiefs have said that their forces remain on a “heightened” state of alert despite Pakistan’s efforts to de-escalate tensions and announcement to free a captured pilot.

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