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The international community breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said a captured Indian air force pilot would be released as a "goodwill gesture" to prevent the latest conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbors from escalating.
But it's beginning to look like that burst of optimism was premature.
Clashes - Line - Control - Kashmir - Exchanges
Cross-border clashes erupted along "line of control" that separates Indian-controlled and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Exchanges of conventional weapons fire have been reported in in Bala Kote, Mendhar, Jammu and Kashmir, according to local media reports. The fire comes as Pakistan has reportedly delayed the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is being hailed as a hero in India after he was shot down Wednesday in the first bout of aerial combat between India and Pakistan in nearly fifty years.
According to one local Pakistani source, the return of the pilot was delayed by Pakistan's military following a disagreement about the timing. Crowds of demonstrators who had amassed on both sides of the border have reportedly started to disperse.
Media - Reports - Friday - Delay - Varthaman
Western media reports published Friday before the delay was revealed credited Varthaman with possibly averting a nuclear crisis.
The description of Varthaman's efforts mirrored something out of an action movie. Here's more on that from the Washington Post:
Scene - Movie - Varthaman - Plane
In a scene that could have been out of a movie, Varthaman parachuted out of his flaming plane and then...
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