A file photo of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking at the opening ceremony for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister scored another diplomatic win over India by announcing the release of captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.

Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was taken captive by Pakistan Army on Wednesday.

Imran told a joint session of the parliament today (Thursday) that the pilot will be handed over to India on Friday as a goodwill gesture.

His announcement is seen as a great gesture in a bid to de-escalate tension between Indian and Pakistan after two Indian fighter jets were shot down on Wednesday following India’s air strike on an alleged terrorist camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday. Ball is now in India’s court.

At the same time, Imran also cautioned that the situation with India should not get out of hand otherwise Pakistan will have to retaliate. Imran claimed that he also tried to call Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday on the phone because ‘escalation is not in our interests nor in India’s.’

Imran reiterated that all issues should be resolved through dialogue. “Despite us opening the Kartarpur corridor, we received no response from India," he said.

Now once again, Pakistan is waiting for India’s response on Imran’s renewed offer to hold talks.

“I have a feeling that the Indian public does not agree with the current government’s warmongering,” he told the parliament.

The joint session of Parliament was called to discuss the rising tension with India. "The only purpose of our strike was to demonstrate our capability and will," Imran told the house, adding: "We did not want to inflict any casualty on India as we wanted to act in a responsible manner."

Imran also lauded the Pakistani media and said: "Indian media created war hysteria. Our media showed solidarity and acted responsibly."

"We had understood that they [India] will do something. India gave us a dossier today, two days after they attacked us.

"I had said that if India does something then we will respond," he asserted. Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also spoke at the session and backed Imran’s effort.

In camera-briefing session:

According to media reports, top political leadership of the country was given an in-camera briefing at the Parliament House on the prevailing security situation and a sharp escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan after the Pulwama suicide attack.

The briefing, held at the Parliament House in Islamabad on Wednesday, was also attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari attended the session along with party delegations.

The parliamentarians were briefed by FM (foreign minister), followed by DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, according to a press statement issued after the session.