Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will return to India on March 1 after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that they would be releasing him as a “gesture of peace.” His release comes two days after he was captured across the Line of Control after shooting down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 jet. India has sought his unconditional, immediate and unharmed release signalling a de-escalation in the spiralling tension between the two countries.
Wing Commander Abhinandan will be brought by Pakistani authorities from Rawalpindi to Lahore and handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention. He will be then brought to the check post at Wagah-Attari joint check-post to return home.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is the son of Air Marshal (Retd) Varthaman and Shobha Varthaman, who is a doctor.
It is said that Pakistan released Abhinandan after it found itself isolated on the issue of terrorism, with none of the P-5 countries standing by it. Pakistan had no option but to return Abhinandan as the US, European Union, Saudi Arabia, and even the UAE, were not in support of Pakistan.
Following Pakistan’s announcement, BJP chief questioned the motives of Pakistani PM. He asked why he has not condemned Pulwama terror attack. He also asked how can India trust him when he can’t even condemn the attack.
While the release of Abhinandan is a diplomatic win for India, there are many who believe that there should be more pressure on Pakistan so that it stops harbouring terrorists. There are some who believe that among other moves, India should use its influence to expel Pakistan from the upcoming ICC World Cup cricket tournament.
See some of the reactions:
It’s great that Pakistan is sending #Abhinandan back. But releasing one PoW does NOT absolve it from harbouring and supporting the terror group that is responsible for the deaths of 44 soldiers in Pulwama. Hand over Masood Azhar to India if you are truly a statesman!
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) March 1, 2019
Absolutely. The fact that Imran khan uses his army to defend Jihadis is ridiculous. Some of our liberals think that he came out as the bigger person, but forget the underlying idea that he uses his machinery to defend them and harbours them.
— Mahesh Notani (@Mahesh_notani) March 1, 2019
All of us know that Pak isn’t sending Azhar. So it would be naive to expect them to do so…… What is realistically possible is clamping down on Azhar,Hafeez and their assets in Pak for a brief period till they are off from FATF list
— GHALIB (@CuldudeGHALIB) March 1, 2019
I repeat we should have demanded this before balakot and then chose our time and place to hit if Pak refused.
— sk (@KidwaiSalim) March 1, 2019
I dont know of any country that has hand over their citizens (good/bad) just like that….
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— Apurva Mirajkar (@apurvasays) March 1, 2019
It’s not as simple as handing over abhinandan believe me. Don’t expect complete uprooting of terrorism from Pakistan in a fortnight. Let’s see future action of Pakistan for at least six more months
— NAUSHAD ALI (@NAUSHAD83) March 1, 2019
Exactly! Peaceniks in India should not get fooled. Pakistan remains a state sponsor of terrorism. They are under pressure to release WC Abhinandan, they played it well I give them that. But this circle jerk about Imran being a messiah of peace must stop.
— Rahul Sharma (@s24_rahul) March 1, 2019
The point is there no war between IND and Pak so he is not POW , we already raised the terror point to the world and at present 46 nation stand by IND , handing over Masood to India it out of question no matter what evidence we have.
— RHN (@REHAAN1111) March 1, 2019
Some people getting orgasms over Imran khan who we all know is a puppet, knowing well that pak harbours terrorism, knowing that a proxy war has been going on thru terror, knowing that hafiz, Azhar, saludin are In pak living freely…. Is sickening.
Sorry but true.
— A. M. I. T (@imamit92) March 1, 2019
What i believe is under leadership of @ImranKhanPTI, Pakistan can be approached politically and diplomatically about any issue that is bothering India..He needs to be given a chance to prove his credentials and intent..
— Sameer (@QmSameer) March 1, 2019
Do you think handing over Masood Azar by Imran will solve Kashmir problem?
— Palanisamy (@Palanis39147781) March 1, 2019
What is great about Pakistan sending #Abhinandan back?
Pakistan was trying to thrust a war on India & the world. India thwarted its attempts. Pak was cornered. It’s image in front of the world community was tarnished.
What other option did Pakistan have?
— Books Columns & Opinions (@indiaonthe_move) March 1, 2019
Overall, by precision strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) terror camps deep inside Pakistan has proved that India won’t tolerate Pakistan’s continued support to terror groups. At the moment, India is in a better bargaining position given that the world opinion is on our side. Pakistan is in no position to fight a prolonged battle with India, so it is high time that debt-ridden Pakistan show some concrete action on ground rather than just meddling with words.