Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan on 27 February returned to India on Friday, 1 March to a hero’s welcome.
- Abhinandan crossed the border with Director India in Pakistan’s Foreign Office Dr Fareha Bugti and IAF Group Captain Joy Thomas Kurien
- Pilot Abhinamdan was arrested after an IAF aircraft was shot down by Pakistan on 27 February
- Pak PM Imran Khan on 28 February said that Abhinandan was being released as a “peace gesture”
- Abhinandan was released after multiple delays by the Pakistan authorities through the day
“He came back with a smile, said he was glad to be back to the country,” said Deputy Commissioner Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon while addressing the media.
Varthaman was accompanied by Dr Fareha Bugti, Director India in Pakistan’s Foreign Office.
Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor addressing the media said that Abhinandan will be taken for a medical check up as per standard protocol.
“Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been handed over to us. He will now be taken for a detailed medical checkup because he had to eject from an aircraft. IAF is happy to have him back,” he said.
Kapoor refused to take any questions from the media.
Varthaman was captured by Pakistan on 27 February after a IAF aircraft was shot down by Pakistan while PAF planes attacked military installations in India.
The attack by Pakistan came a day after IAF destroyed JeM terror camps across the LoC. On 28 February, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the country will release Varthaman as a “peace gesture”.
The release of Varthaman came after multiple delays by Pakistan through the day.