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Pak Army takes U-turn; says ‘only one’ Indian pilot under its custody

Islamabad | Pakistan Army on Wednesday said it has arrested “only one” Indian pilot, retracting from its earlier statement that two IAF pilots were under its custody.

“There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhinandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics,” Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

“I am an IAF officer. My service No is 27981,” a blindfolded man – who identified himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan – said in a short video released by the Pakistan Army.

Earlier, Ghafoor claimed that two Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots were arrested. One pilot is injured and has been shifted to a hospital, while another one is unhurt, the spokesman had said.

In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Pakistan Air Force targeted military installations in India in response to Indian counter-terrorism operations but their attempts were foiled successfully though one Indian pilot is “missing in action”.

The MEA said that according to Pakistan the missing IAF pilot was in their custody. “We are ascertaining that,” the MEA spokesman said.

In a second video, the man refused to talk about the plane he was flying or talk about the mission.

He said he was rescued from a mob by the Pakistan Army Captain.

When asked about his identity, he said he was from down south and a married man.

The veracity of the video could not be ascertained.

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