Amid soaring tensions between the two nations, the good news finally came when Wing Commander Abhinandan came home safely. He was received at the Wagah border today. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wing Commander Varthaman was being released as a “gesture of peace”. While Indian officials said that Pakistan abided by the Geneva conventions and had to anyway release him.
A large number of people had assembled at the Attari Joint Check Post (JCP) since morning to receive their hero who was released by Pakistani authorities later in the day. Here is the first pic of our hero’s homecoming.
People started arriving in Attari, around 30 km from Amritsar, since 6 a.m. Their numbers soared by 9 a.m. But Pakistan delayed the procedure citing paper work and delayed the return by 5-6 hours. But the nation was overwhelmed when they got first glimpse of Wing Commander heading towards nation . Even after the injuries , his confidence and composure was a sight to watch . The serenity on his face in these situations says volumes about his courage and strength. The officials reported that his first words were – “It’s good to be back”.
“Wing Commander Abhinandan has just been handed over to us,” said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor. “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.”
“We have come here to welcome our country’s hero back home. We will give him a grand welcome. He showed a lot of bravery in the air combat and even after being captured by the Pakistanis,” Jitender, a resident of Amritsar, who arrived in Attari with his friends, said.
Manjit Singh, who was carrying a dhol, said: “Many celebrities and other important people came to Attari border on different occasions. But today, a real hero is coming back. We will give him a big and warm welcome with dhol and bhangra”.
Abhinandan’s parents had also flown from Chennai to meet their son in Delhi. He was received by IG of BSF along with the officials from IAF and Punjab police. The entire nation had been praying for the well being and safety of the pilot. Below is a video where Abhinandan’s parents were being given a standing ovation by the crowd , while they were on their way to Delhi.
Varthaman’s MiG 21 was shot and landed in Pak . He brought down one Pakistani F-16 fighter during a dogfight to thwart a Pakistani attack on Wednesday. Countries like the UK, the US and France supported India and brought the escalation down between the nuclear states and simultaneously ensured that Imran Khan announces Abhinandan Varthaman’s “safe return” to India in just 24 hours of his capture. “As a peace gesture we are releasing the Indian pilot on Friday,” Imran Khan said in Pak National Assembly.
India has already made its stand clear that it did not negotiate Abhinandan Varthaman’s release under any condition put forth by Pakistan, and that the country was duty bound to release Abhinandan under the Geneva Convention. The Narendra Modi-led government has also said that its fight against the terror camps and those harboring such elements in Pakistan will continue even after the release of the India Air Force Wing Commander.
But if every thing goes as expected , Pak does not find it exciting. Their love for misadventure is known to the world. Even today, they tried to delay Abhinandan’s return first by denying air route , then they wanted to complete the proceeding after the Beating Retreat ceremony and finally they delayed it citing some important paper work.
Also there is a video doing rounds over the internet where the Indian pilot is seen praising the Pakistan army and criticizing the Indian media. We are not embedding the video here as is quite evident that it is a manipulated video. According to sources, the circulated video has as many as 17 cuts in a runtime of 1min 22 sec. Also there are strong chances of him being under pressure to say these superficial things.
Meanwhile the entire nation is celebrating the return of their hero . Wishes poured in from one and all in the nation. He is currently being examined in Amritsar and will soon be flown to Delhi where he will meet his family.