India sent warning after two Pakistan soldiers killed at border during mortar shelling

Pakistan’s military has issued a new worrying warning to its Indian counterpart as tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries remain high. On Saturday, Islamabad said its air force and navy "continue to be alert and vigilant”. This comes after ’s Government decided to release on Friday Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian pilot who crashed his plane on enemy soil on Wednesday following a dogfight with Pakistani JF-17 on Wednesday. 

Pakistan touted Mr Abhinandan's return as "as a goodwill gesture” after weeks of unease.

The country’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said: "As a gesture of peace and to de-escalate matters, the Indian pilot who is under arrest with us will be released today in the afternoon at the Wagah border."

The pilot himself thanked the Pakistani army for how he had been treated in a speech broadcasted by Islamabad’s national TV.

Explaining he had been saved from an angry crowd chasing him after his crash, Mr Abhinandan said: "The Pakistani army is a very professional service.  

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"I have spent time with the Pakistan army. I am very impressed."

The return to India of Mr Abhinandan was broadcasted live on TV, signifying the importance of the gesture.

And it was followed by an invitation to the Indian Government by Pakistani leaders to do its part to avoid a conflict.

But clashes in Kashmir continued throughout Friday and Saturday.

Shelling across the so-called Line of Control (LoC), which acts as a border in the disputed area, killed two Pakistani soldiers after they exchanged fire with their Indian counterparts.

New Delhi accused Pakistan of firing mortar shell across the LoC border.

Fears of a new war between India and Pakistan were fuelled after a suicide car bombing on February 14 killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police officers in Kashmir.

The attack met the response of India, which on Tuesday launched an air strike on what the Government said were militant camps of the Jaish-e Mohammad group behind the bombing.  

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World powers continue to worry the situation could result in the fourth war between Pakistan and India since the 1940s, when they gained independence from the British empire.

During talks with top military leaders of the United States, Britain and Australia, Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa said his country would "surely respond to any aggression in self-defence".

Fears another war could begin are also shared by Indian and Pakistani citizens.

Chaudhry Jahangir, a Pakistani resident of the Samahni sector in Kashmir, said: "The way situation is developing along the LoC makes me feel that both sides may collide head-on anytime now.”     

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