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UN chief welcomes PM Khan’s decision to free captured Indian pilot

NEW YORK: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to release the captured Indian fighter pilot.

“The report of the release of the Indian pilot by the Pakistani authorities would be very much a welcome step,” the UN chief’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in reply to a question at a news briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“We would encourage both parties to do whatever they can to de-escalate the situation and this is the message that has been passed on by the United Nations and, I think, by the international community as a whole,” the spokesperson added.

He said the secretary general was in touch with both India and Pakistan at various levels.

Meanwhile, the president of the UN General Assembly, Maria Espinosa, also expressed concern at the situation and urged India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes through dialogue.

Her spokesperson said the president believed that diplomatic negotiations provided the best means to settle problems.

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