Imran Khan outsmarted PM Modi in statesmanship, says Iran media
Tehran, March 3: Tensions between India and Pakistan that were on the rise over the past few weeks saw a sudden fall after Islamabad set free Indian fighter jet pilot Abhinandan Varthaman after his plane was downed on Pakistani territory last Wednesday, February 27.
Both the hostile neighbours were engaged in air games after Indian jets conducted raids across the Line of Control in the wee hours of Tuesday, almost two weeks after a deadly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama martyred over 40 CRPF jawans.
While it seemed that the tension was not going to reduce soon, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the captured Indian pilot would be released as a sign of peace gesture. The media of Iran, another neighbour with which too Pakistan has issues over cross-border terrorism, said it was Khan's diplomatic win over Modi.
'The tables turned quickly'
"As per Geneva Convention 1949, Pakistani government was supposed to return him to India once the hostilities were over. But the country's premier, who had earlier extended an olive branch to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, made a surprise announcement during his address inside Pakistani parliament on Thursday," a piece in Iran's Tehran Times said.
"He announced that the captured pilot will be released on Friday as a gesture of peace. The news spread quickly and was widely welcomed on both sides of the de facto border."
"The tables turned quickly and Imran Khan stole the show. Modi, who appeared to be in no mood to retreat, was rendered helpless after Khan announced the release of Indian pilot and advocated dialogue with New Delhi."
The report said that the former cricketer showed a kind of statesmanship which is associated with strong, visionary leaders and that besides winning the battle of 'surgical strikes', Khan also won those of the hearts and minds.