India and Pakistan showed resolve and restraint this week as tensions flared between the nuclear-armed rivals but crucial underlying problems still need to be addressed, according to a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.
Military planes from both sides carried out tit-for-tat air strikes this week in each other's territories while their troops traded fire along the de facto border in Kashmir. The escalation was triggered after terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for an attack in India-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14 that killed more than 40 Indian security officers.
New Delhi and Islamabad also claimed to have brought down each other's military jets and Pakistan announced an Indian pilot was captured into its custody.
On Thursday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that as a "peace gesture," he would release the pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, as early as Friday. The move was welcomed by the chiefs of India's three armed forces during a joint press conference Thursday evening — but they would not say if New Delhi considered the return a de-escalation in the conflict.