Wing Commander Abhinandan was released at the Wagah border crossing on the demarcation line dividing the two countries.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that the gesture should be seen as an expression of his country's willingness to de-escalate recent tensions.
11:00 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019
How the Wagah border post became a symbol of India-Pakistan rivalry
From CNN's Jack Guy
Wagah -- the border post where the Indian pilot is due to be released by Pakistan -- has taken on a symbolic role in the decades-long conflict over Kashmir, despite being outside the disputed area.
Shashank Joshi, defense editor at The Economist and former senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a defense and security think tank, told CNN that Wagah was probably chosen as the site of the handover for logistical reasons.
"It's a high-security location," Joshi said, adding that Wagah is the principal border crossing between the two nations and other personnel swaps have taken place there in the past.
The village straddles the border -- with the eastern half in India and the western half in Pakistan -- and sits on the Grand Trunk Road, one of the main overland routes between the two nations.
Pakistan has "not done us a favor" by pledging to release pilot - Indian minister
From CNN's Carly Walsh
Still no sign of the pilot. However, India's Minister of State for External Affairs says Pakistan "has not done us a favor" by returning the Indian wing commander -- despite Islamabad describing the move as a "gesture for peace."
In a written statement on his Twitter account, Indian minister Vijay Kumar Singh said the release was under the Geneva Conventions.
Singh said India welcomed the move, but that "it is the first of many steps that #Pakistan must take to reinforce their commitment to peace."
He added: "We need an affirmative & verifiable action by Pakistan against terrorism.”
8:57 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019
Pakistan's military chief talks to US, UK and Australia
From CNN's Bianca Britton
While we await the release of the Indian wing commander, Pakistan's spokesperson has tweeted that the country's army chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa, has spoken with top military personnel from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Major General Asif Ghafoor said in the tweet that Bajwa had discussed the "prevailing standoff" between Pakistan and India and "its impact on peace & stability in the region."
According to Ghafoor, Bajwa told the countries that Pakistan would "surely respond to any aggression in self defence."
6:54 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019
Crowds begin to celebrate on Indian side
From CNN's Bianca Britton
People have gathered at the Wagah border to welcome the return of the Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan.
While some dance, others are waving the national flag of India and shouting slogans.
5:26 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019
Officers await the release of Indian pilot
From CNN's Bianca Britton
Officers and media have gathered on both sides of the Wagah border, ahead of the imminent release of the captured Indian pilot, whose jet was downed during a warplane dogfight.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the pilot, who has been identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan, would be released Friday as a "gesture for peace."
5:06 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019
Pakistan to allow some flights in and out of three major airports
From CNN's Sophia Saifi
Pakistan will allow limited traffic through three of its major international airports as of 4 p.m. local time on Friday, according to the chief spokeswoman for the country’s Civil Aviation Authority.
A limited number of international and domestic flights in and out of Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad airports will be allowed, spokeswoman Farah Hussein told CNN.
Pakistani airspace is set to be open in full from 1 p.m. local time on March 4.
5:08 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019
'Beating retreat' parade canceled on Indian side
From CNN's Sugam Pokharel in New Delhi.
The daily military parade held at the Wagah border, known locally as the "beating retreat" ceremony, has been canceled on the Indian side, Indian Border Security Force (BSF) spokesperson Subhendu Bhardwaj told CNN.
The ceremony, which sees Pakistan's Rangers and India's Border Security Force take part in a lowering-of-the-flags ceremony, is typically held before sunset at around 4 p.m. local (5:30 a.m. ET).
4:48 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019
Why China doesn't want to get caught in the middle of a India-Pakistan conflict
Analysis by CNN's Ben Westcott and Steven Jiang
The escalation between Pakistan and India this week has put Beijing in an awkward position.
It isn't just that China shares a border with the contested region of Kashmir -- Beijing also has important links with both Pakistan and India that it needs to balance.
China has close economic, diplomatic and military ties with Pakistan, making it one of the nation's closest allies in region.
Meanwhile, China's long-running trade war with the US has forced Beijing to look for alternative trading partners. As result, China has started to rebuild ties with rival power India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"They have to do something to show that they are helping to keep things under control, while not appearing unreliable as Pakistan's ally," said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London.