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Pakistanis demand Nobel Peace Prize for Imran Khan

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Islamabad: A motion was submitted in Pakistan's National Assembly Secretariat on Saturday calling for Prime Minister Imran Khan to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in "de-escalating" tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The motion, submitted by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, stated that the Indian leadership's "war hysteria" and "aggression" caused tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries and brought them on the brink of war, Geo News reported.

Tensions escalated between India and Pakistan after the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF troopers in Jammu and Kasmir's Pulwama on February 14.

India, in retaliation, bombed the JeM's 'biggest training camp' in Balakot and claimed to have killed a large number of militants.

This was followed by Pakistan capturing Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman after his MiG-21 fighter jet was shot down during a dogfight near the Line of Control (LoC) on Febuary 27. He was released by Islamabad on Friday night as a "peace gesture".

The motion read that "Imran Khan expertly diverted the situation towards peace" and therefore he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On Friday, #NobelPeacePrizeForImranKhan was the top trend on Twitter.

An online petition was filed moving the Norwegian Nobel Committee for the nomination of Khan for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 for "his peace efforts and dialogues in the Asian region on diverse conflicts (Pakistan-India, Afghanistan-US, Middle East).

"His (Khan's) contributions deserve the international recognition with the Nobel, his aims of ensuring lasting peace in the region and discouraging revival of militarism should be recognized and greatly appreciated," read the online petition on website Change.org.

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