Since morning, the whole nation was waiting for IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to return home. Finally, the wait is over. The brave solider reached Wagah border around evening but it was a long wait before he was handed over to the Indian officials. He was accompanied by IAF Group Captain Joy Thomas Kurien and Defence Attache to Indian High Commission to the Pakistan border. Immediately after crossing the border he was taken to nearby airport. From there he will board a special flight to Delhi to meet his family. His parents, Air Marshal (retd) S Varthaman and Dr. Shobha Varthaman, flew to Delhi from Chennai and are now waiting there for their son. They were cheered and got a standing ovation while de-boarding the flight.
India media is still not allowed to take images and pictures, however, here are some of the images from Pakistan’s side as shared by ANI.
— ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2019
Again, the pilot stood straight in front of the border gate at Pakistan’s side. Finally, after signing paper he stepped into Indian soil. He was received warmly by the army personnel.
In the following days, he will go through different procedures. It will include physical and psychological examination besides debriefing from the authorities. It will also include emotional assessment to make sure he is ready to touch the sky. Once the procedures are completed, he will hopefully return to flying fighter jets soon.
For security reasons, the daily retreat along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab was canceled for the day. Also, journalists are barred from taking images or videos of the Wing Commander.
The Indian Air Force Wing Commander was arrested by Pakistani Army on February 27, 2019. He shot down Pakistan’s F-16 with his Mig-21 Bison. However, due to engine failure in the flight he ejected and landed in enemy territory. India declared that Pakistan should immediately release him unconditionally and unharmed. On February 28, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the release of the pilot calling it a peace gesture.
Abhinandan is a braveheart who retained his poise and sense of duty in the face of utmost danger. Initially, videos were released from Pakistan. In the first two, the local people were seen tutoring the pilot. Doing this, Pakistan certainly broke the Geneva Conventions. The third video, however, was much toned down that showed the army offering tea to the capture Indian pilot.
As reported by a reputed Pakistani daily, Abhinandan Varthaman fired on air to discourage the local people manhandling and beating him. Further, he also tried to swallow essential documents and eventually destroyed the same by jumping in a pond. What a brave soul!
Though Pakistan’s PM branded it as a peace gesture, today our neighbors violated ceasefire along LoC. It took place in the Mendhar, Balakote, and Krishna Ghati sectors. CRPF personnel lost their lives.
The entire nation has taken a sigh of relief as Abhinandan Varthaman returned. Abhinandan Varthaman, as we saw in the video, kept his cool and poise even under such a situation. We hope that he soon returns to fly fighter flights. To stay updated with more news of Abhinandan Varthaman, keep an eye on this space.