Amid the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan following Pulwama terror attack, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that one Indian Air Force pilot is missing in action and a MiG-21 Bison fighter jet is lost thwarting Pakistani fighter jets that had entered Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir. Kumar also confirmed earlier reports that a Pakistani fighter jet (a F-16) was shot down by Indian fighters and it crashed on its territory, in the Lam Valley area along the Line of Control.
On the other side, Major General Asif Gafoor, the spokesperson for the Pakistani military, held a press conference and claimed that Pakistani jets also took down two Indian Air Force fighters. Out of these, he said, one crashed in Pakistani territory, and both pilots of the crashed jet (a MiG 21) were taken in custody and treatment is given to the injured.
Pakistan has also released a video which they claimed was of one of the “arrested” pilots. The video shows a man wearing a flight suit saying he is Wing Commander Abhinandan. While being blindfolded, he spoke to his captors while keeping a calm and clear voice. He gave them his service number, and identified himself as a Hindu.
When someone asked for more details, Wing Commander Varthaman replied: “I’m sorry sir…that’s all I’m supposed to tell you.” However, no reply came from the other side, so he asked in remarkable composure: “Am I with the Pakistani Army?”
Meanwhile, as soon as the news broke out, Indian Twitterati came in full support of their brave hero. Check out some of the reactions:
I support Abhinandan . Bring him back
— SAMIR RAJESH TARAS (@SamirTaras) February 27, 2019
— Nitin Singh (@Nitin_geo) February 27, 2019
Feel sad why those 90000 Pak soldiers who surrendered to India, were returned to Pak without the kind of treatment that Pakistan metes out to PoW of India. Clearly India is too soft#AbhinandanVarthaman #BringBackAbhinandan
— 👑Akansha⭐️💫❤ #IndianArmyOurPride ❤🇮🇳❤ (@akku1201) February 27, 2019
For the first time in a very long time a head Pakistan’s is speaking sense, says he’s ready for probe & dialogue over Pulwama.
But first, wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman must return home safely!
— Pushkar Kulkarni (@pushkar_18) February 27, 2019
— rajlakshmi (@rajlakshmit) February 27, 2019
Sir, It’s time you suited up to bring back our true Hero Abhinandan Varthaman #BringBackAbhinandan
— Shahul Hameed (@mjshaheed) February 27, 2019
Our media is only fulfilling their public’s appetite of so called revenge and would never accept something that brings them shame. fact is that our security and defense department failed to protect our soldiers. #PulwamaTerrorAttack and now #AbhinandanVarthaman #Saynotowar
— Gurjeet singh (@AmGurjit) February 27, 2019
— Pooja (@MokshPooja) February 27, 2019
— Shweta Mavi (@ShwetaMavi) February 27, 2019
People sharing pictures and videos of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on their social media with sad face EMOJIS, please step back and reassess your life choices and just stop man.
— S 🔮 (@_shirin_s_) February 27, 2019
— TháLâváï MáhâRâJâÑ (@thalavaimaharaj) February 27, 2019
— Arnav Dogra (@DograArnav) February 27, 2019
— Manjunatha H S (@manjunathansui) February 27, 2019
Stay strong Wing Commander #Abhinandan Varthaman.
The entire nation prays for your well being and safe return to india….🙏🙏🙏🙏
— राष्ट्रदूत (@dnxprajapat) February 27, 2019
— Murari Neriya Avinash (@murarineriya) February 27, 2019
— Bhagya Wants Justice 🇮🇳 (@IAmBhagyashreeK) February 27, 2019
Those who earlier advocated 4 war& now praying for #AbhinandanVarthaman r lunatics who thought tht battlefield would be like sm bollywood movie where only our hero will emerge victorious with music playing in background.
This shit is real.War only bring tragedy, trauma & terror.
— Pooja Vidrohi پوجا جادو (@ImP_vidrohi) February 27, 2019
— नीतू चौधरी 🇮🇳 (@Nitu_Ji) February 27, 2019
I even dread to think what Wingman Abhinandan Varthaman and his close ones must be feeling. Try thinking, just try..and then think if you should still do the chest thumping!
It’s a sad day!
— gabbu (@gabbarni) February 27, 2019
@ImranKhanPTI sending wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman back home can show your attitude towards peace talks, we don’t want war with Pakistan, let’s end terrorism together, take the initiative. It’s your chance. #AbhinandanVarthaman
— Davinder Singh Gangash (@dvgangash7) February 27, 2019
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked India for a dialogue. The escalation — the worst in decades — has come within a fortnight of Pulwama terror attack. In a televised statement, he said: “Our action was only intended to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same… Two of their MiGs were shot down (in the ensuing action). From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom.”