Two similarly-worded petitions on change.org website were launched by users form the United Kingdom and Pakistan, soon after Khan ruled to release an Indian pilot, who was captured by the Pakistani military after an air incident over the disputed Kashmir region, "as a goodwill gesture." After Khan's announcement, the #NobelPeaceForImranKhan began trending on Twitter. While one petition has gone through 250,000 mark, over 60,000 users have signed the second one.
"We, hereby nominate the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 for his peace efforts and dialogues in the Asian region on diverse conflicts (e.g. Pakistan-India, Afghanistan-USA, Middle East etc.). His contributions deserve the international recognition with the award of Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, his aims of ensuring lasting peace in the region and discouraging revival of militarism should be recognized and greatly appreciated," the text of the petition that received more signatures read.
This week, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated, as the two countries engaged in an air battle and lost jets in it. It followed a strike by the Indian Air Force against what it said was a camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad, considered a terrorist group by India, located on the Pakistani soil across the so-called Line of Control separating the Indian-and Pakistani-controlled parts of the Kashmir region.
The Indian airstrike came after a deadly attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad on the Indian paramilitary police force in Kashmir in mid-February. While India has accused Pakistan of supporting the militants and having a "direct hand" in the incident, Pakistan, in turn, has rejected the allegations, accusing India of being responsible for human rights violations taking place in Kashmir.