Pakistan returns Indian pilot shot down over Kashmir in ‘peace gesture’

Abhinandan Varthaman involved in the first publicly acknowledged dogfight between the countries in 48 years

Pakistan has returned an Indian pilot who had become the face of the worst military crisis between the two countries in decades, in a gesture aimed at demonstrating its willingness to de-escalate the conflict.

Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was shot down during the first publicly acknowledged dogfight between the countries in 48 years on Wednesday, was returned to India at the Wagah border crossing in Punjab on Friday evening.

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