The Islamabad High Court on Friday rejected a petition challenging Pakistan’s decision to release Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, The Express Tribune reported. The pilot will be released via the Wagah border near Amritsar on Friday afternoon.
Varthaman was captured on Wednesday after his aircraft went down in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani aircraft.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced that Islamabad will release Varthaman as a peace gesture amid tensions between both countries. The United Nations welcomed the decision and urged both countries to “de-escalate tensions”.
The petitioner claimed that Khan had not taken the Parliament into confidence while taking the decision. “Indian aggression is still on the Line of Control and even the Geneva Conventions says that the prisoners should be released once the conflict surrounding the nations involved in it is over,” the petition said.
The petitioner alleged that Varthaman had committed a crime against the country and should face trial in Pakistan.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah said the court will not intervene in the matter. “The prime minister made the announcement of the Indian pilot’s release in the parliament,” Minallah said. “When all the parliamentarians agree at a point then any debate over it is unnecessary.”