Union minister and former Army chief V K Singh on Friday said he was happy that Pakistan was releasing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, but the neighbouring country needs to do a “lot more”.
The Centre is taking “appropriate measures” and “such steps are not revealed”, the minister of state for External Affairs told reporters on the sidelines of an event in his Lok Sabha constituency. He was asked about the Centre’s next step amid the escalating tension between India and Pakistan.
“A lot of things are done in line with the Geneva Convention. We are happy that he is being released. If they call it a gesture of peace, we are happy for that too, but they need to do a lot more,” he said.
Abhinandan, who was captured by Pakistan on Wednesday, is expected to be released on Friday. On Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi not attending a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) being hosted by the United Arab Emirates, Singh said, “It’s Qureshi’s brain, let them do what they want.”
Qureshi on Friday announced that he will not attend the meeting over the grouping’s failure to rescind the invitation to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.
Reacting to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remarks on India’s air-strike in Pakistan, Singh said, “There are a lot of people who don’t have any work.”
Citing foreign media reports that not much damage was done by the Indian Air Force’s preemptive strike on terror camps at Balakot, Banerjee on Thursday had said, “The Force should be given an opportunity to come up with facts.”
On trade relations between the two nations, Singh said, “The MFN (Most favoured nation) status to Pakistan has already been withdrawn. With this, goods imported from there will become costly and obviously people won’t go for costly products.”