IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been returned to India at the Wagah-Attari border at 9.20 pm on Friday. The release comes two days after he was captured by Pakistan during an intense aerial dogfight. Wing Commander Varthaman was received by the Border Security Officials.
The return of Indian Air Force pilot was made possible following a series of diplomatic efforts and international manouvering.
Varthaman’s MiG 21 was shot during an aerial combat between India and Pakistan on Wednesday morning. He bailed out after bringing down one Pakistani F-16 fighter during a dogfight to repel a Pakistani attack on Wednesday morning. Since then he was in Pakistan custody.
. On Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, following a Joint Session of Pakistan National Assembly, said Wing Commander Varthaman would be released as a “gesture of peace” if it leads to de-escalation of recent tensions between the two neighbour countries.
As Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returned from Pakistan, celebrations began on Twitter with a host of hashtags bearing his name trending on the social media website. The masses poured their tributes to the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, who showed exemplary fortitude and courage while in Pakistan’s captivity.