After a suspenseful wait lasting hours, Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman finally returned home from captivity in Pakistan Friday, a major step towards defusing a near-war situation triggered by India’s retaliation over Pakistan’s continued support for terrorism.
He finally emerged at 9.10 p.m. India time at the Wagah checkpost on the Pakistani side, accompanied by Pakistani rangers, the Indian air attache posted in the High Commission in Islamabad. He was wearing a civilian clothes — a dark jacket and khakhi trousers, walking proudly toward the gates that separated his captors’ country from his homeland.
“Wing Commander Abhinandan has just been handed over to us. He will be taken now for a detailed medical checkup. This check up is mandatory as he had to eject from an airplane which would have put his entire body under stress,” Vice Chief Marshal R G K Kapoor told reporters in a brief statement in Attari, near Amritstar, on the other side of Wagah.
Addressing a public rally in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “every Indian is proud of brave pilot Abhinandan.”
On Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told a special joint sitting of Parliament that his government was releasing the pilot as a “peace gesture”. However, India has been maintaining that Pakistani decision is in consonance with the Geneva Conventions.
International border closes at 6:30 PM then whey it so late.