As soon as Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced the release of captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, his parents boarded the flight late from Chennai to Delhi and were received by cheers and claps from the co-passengers.
The passengers started taking photos and videos, amidst the clapping and congratulating the parents of Abhinandan, namely Air Marshal (retd.) S Varthaman and Shobha Varthaman, as they made their way to their seats.
S Varthaman has been a highly decorated officer in the Indian Air Force and Shobha Varthaman is currently a doctor. As they landed in Delhi, they immediately left for Amritsar to receive their son, who is expected to be released by Pakistan at around 2 pm via Wagah border.
S Varthaman had earlier said, “Thank you my friends for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely…a true soldier…we are so proud of him.”
He had further hoped for the ‘safe return’ of his son and said, “I am sure all your hands and blessings are on his head…prayers for his safe return. I pray that he does not get tortured and comes home safe and sound in body and mind,” and now, his requests have been heard as he will be arriving in India today.
India and Pakistan have been under tension over border escalation via aerial routes and a war like hysteria had been created amongst the two neighbouring countries but with Abhinandan’s release, it is being expected that the situation would normalize.