India says 'happy' Pakistan is releasing downed pilot

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Indian government was “happy” that Pakistan had decided to return its captured air force pilot and it looked forward to his return, defense officials told reporters on Thursday.

Wing Commander Abhinandan, who was captured by Pakistan’s army on Wednesday, will return to India on Friday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan told the country’s parliament.

Asked about the damage caused when India warplanes struck a suspected militant camp in Pakistan, the officials said it was premature to provide details about casualties. But they said they had “credible” evidence of the damage inflicted on the camp by the air strikes.

(This story has been refiled to change wording of first paragraph to make clear that only one Indian pilot is in Pakistan custody)

Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Writing by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Peter Graff