As IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman made a homecoming from Pakistan’s captivity, the Indian Air Force held a press conference at the Attari border wherein Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said, 'IAF is happy to have Abhinandan back.'
RGK Kapoor further added, "Wing Commander Abhinandan 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."
As the tension between Indian and Pakistan de-escalates, the return of the IAF Pilot Abhinandan would be seen as a paradigm shift in the narrative of the relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Today, a senior team of the Indian Air Force received Wing Commander Abhinandan at the Attari-Wagah border, where the beating retreat ceremony was canceled. But, Pakistan conducted its ceremony at the other side and after, medical checkup, Abhinandan was handed over to the Indian authorities, although the timing was changed twice.
India had earlier issued demarche to the Pakistan High Commission to immediately release Abhinandan, in line with Geneva Convention rules of 1949 as he became a Prisoner of War.
Earlier, the IAF Pilot Abhinandan’s fighter jet MiG 21 was shot down during an aerial warfare with Pakistan’s F16 and he landed in the region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and later on was apprehended by the Pakistani officials.
Through diplomatic channels and international pressure mounting on Pakistan to act against terrorism, PM Imran Khan on February 28 announced in the special session of Parliament that they would be releasing Abhinandan on March 1 in a “peaceful gesture” and with a hope that the tension de-escalates between the two neighbouring countries.
India had earlier carried out “pre-emptive non-military” strikes across the LoC and targeted the terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammad by dropping almost 1000 kgs of bomb through IAF Mirage 2000 and in retaliation, Pakistan had sent its F 16 fighter jets in counter retaliation.