The captured IAF pilot will be freed on Friday "as a peace gesture", Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday.

YouTube removes 11 video links of IAF pilot Abhinandan on IT Ministrys requestScreenshot from video by Radio Pakistan
news Conflict Friday, March 01, 2019 - 07:41

Google-owned YouTube on Thursday removed 11 objectionable video links of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman after the IT Ministry asked the video streaming platform to do so.

An IT Ministry official told IANS that it had asked YouTube to remove 11 video links related to Wing Commander Varthaman who was captured by the Pakistani army on Wednesday after his MiG plane was shot down and fell across the border during a dogfight.

"We comply with valid legal requests from authorities wherever possible, consistent with our long-standing policy and act quickly to remove such material," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

"Data on government requests to remove content from Google services is updated periodically in our transparency report," the spokesperson added.

The captured IAF pilot will be freed on Friday "as a peace gesture", Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday.

"As a peace gesture, I announce that tomorrow (Friday), and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody," Imran Khan told the Assembly. 

The Pakistan PM added, “I address the Indian government, do not force us for retaliation. We are prepared for any eventuality and response. I beseech India not to force us down the path of war. Our efforts to de-escalate should not be considered our weakness. We are indulging our efforts to maintain peace in the region.”

India had earlier demanded the immediate release of the Indian MiG-21 Bison pilot - who shot down a Pakistani F-16 - and ruled out talks on the issue, saying Pakistan cannot use it as a deal.

"India also strongly objected to Pakistan's vulgar display of an injured personnel of the IAF in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. 

"It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return," the MEA said in a statement.

With IANS inputs

Read‘Ready for any provocation from Pak’: Indian armed forces at joint presser

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