Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced Thursday that his country would release a captured Indian fighter pilot on Friday "as a peace gesture." It was a major sign that the tension between the nuclear-armed Asian neighbors was easing at the end of a tense week that saw both carry out airstrikes and exchange fire across their disputed border.
Addressing the Pakistani Parliament, Khan also said he was ready to hold a phone conversation with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.
"I want to say it to India today: Don't take this any further, Pakistan will be forced to retaliate," Khan said. "I hope the international community will play its part to ensure the situation does not escalate beyond this."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't immediately respond to Khan's remarks, or comment on Pakistan saying Khan had tried to reach out to him over the phone on Wednesday.
Indian fighter pilot Abhinandan Varthaman remained Thursday in the custody of the Pakistani Army. His jet was shot down by Pakistan's Air Force during a dogfight along the border in the region of Kashmir, which is split roughly in half. India controls one side and Pakistan the other, but both nations insist they rightfully own the full territory.