Pakistan has handed over a captured pilot to Indian authorities at the Wagah border, a move aimed at de-escalating tensions after days of hostilities with its South Asian neighbor, Al Jazeera reported.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman crossed the Wagah border on Friday, two days after he was captured following a rare aerial engagement between the nuclear-armed rivals over the disputed region of Kashmir.
Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his decision to return Varthaman back to Indian officials as a "peace gesture" during a joint sitting of the parliament in capital, Islamabad, on Thursday.
The pilot's parents travelled to Amritsar, near Wagah, via New Delhi on Thursday night and received a standing ovation from co-passengers. Hundreds of people gathered at Wagah to welcome Varthaman home.
Pakistan's military said it shot down two Indian air force fighter jets that had entered its airspace in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and took the pilot in custody.
His capture came a day after an Indian aircraft launched air raids on Pakistani territory.
Tensions between the archrivals escalated after a suicide attack in India-administered Kashmir on February 14 that killed at least 42 Indian soldiers.