Pilot Abhinandan handed over to Indian High Commission

Pilot Abhinandan handed over to Indian High Commission

March 1, 2019

New Delhi: India is waiting to welcome Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force pilot in Pakistan’s captivity, with bated breath. Latest reports from across the border say that Abhinandan has been handed over to Indian High Commission in Pakistan at Islamabad and he is expected to cross Wagah border after 3 pm.

The Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad has completed documentation procedures and the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given a go-ahead.

On his return journey, Abhinandan, the second-generation IAF pilot, will be received by Group Captain J.T. Kurian, Air Advisor in the Indian High Commission. From Attari, Abhinandan will be flown to New Delhi.  

“Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will cross the border today. I can’t tell you exact time since there are certain formalities. A senior Indian Air Force team from Delhi is in Amritsar, they will be the ones to receive him,” Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon told reporters.  

“There is uncertainty yet about timing of arrival of Abhinandan, but it seems sure that he will return after 4 pm. He may be handed over to India during the beating retreat ceremony,” Dhillon added.  

The IAF pilot was taken into custody by Pakistan on Wednesday after he landed on the other side of the Line of Control as his aircraft crashed during an aerial dogfight between India and Pakistan. In a diplomatic victory for India, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had yesterday announced that the captured IAF pilot will be freed as a “gesture of peace” “Abhinandan was brought by Pakistani authorities from Rawalpindi to Lahore and handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention before being brought to the Indian High Commission at Islamabad to return home,” sources said.

Special flight denied

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India wanted to send a special flight to bring back Abhinandan but Pakistan denied permission. Sources say India wanted to bring him back to Delhi in a special IAF flight and take him away for a debriefing and medical check-up. Officials did not want the pilot to be accosted by reporters, reports said.

Standing ovation for parents

Abhinandan’s parents arrived in New Delhi last night and are in Amritsar to welcome him. Abhinandan is the son of Air Marshal (Retd.) Varthaman and Dr Shobha Varthaman. The parents were given a standing ovation as passengers made way for them in the flight ensuring that the couple gets off first. In photos and videos shared by passengers on social media platforms, the couple can be seen acknowledging the clapping, cheers and thank you with nods of their heads.

Release challenged in Pak court

A Pakistani activist today filed a petition in a court, challenging the release of Abhinandan Varthaman. The court, however, rejected the writ petition filed by an Islamabad-based activist.

Mood upbeat at Wagah

Meanwhile, as India awaits Abhinandan’s return, the mood at the Indian side of Wagah is quite energetic. People reached Wagah border in Amritsar with drums, garlands and flags to receive Abhinandan. People started arriving in Attari, around 30 km from Sikh holy city of Amritsar, since 6 am. Their numbers swelled by this noon.

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Pilot Abhinandan handed over to Indian High Commission”

  1. Hanuman says:

    Having got into the elite squad of fighter pilots for modern fighter jets, thanks to his father, a retired Air Marshal’s influence ( that is sadly the state of affairs in India that one needs such a push and not meritocracy), this fighter pilot lost the dog fight with a Pakistani fighter pilot as his fighter jet was shot down. Why not mention this aspect clearly in the article above? Abhinanadan is a loser as he lost his fighter jet and lost the dog fight. Just shameful!!

    • Mustafa says:

      Abhinandan is a loser? Not because of his bravery or actions! He is a hero in every other way, his service, bravery, courage and every quality needed by MILITARY! Any mother in the world would be proud to have a son! Any nation would be proud to have a son like him!
      His only failure may be, he is protecting people like you, you terror supporting Bastard scumbag ! If he could put a bullet on the head of such internal enemies like you, that would be a perfect world! we will be more proud! Karnataka people tolerate such nonsense, so, for your own safety never leave this state!

  2. Manava says:

    Modi is still prattling nonsense. He lost the propaganda war when Imran Khan, cleverly returned Abhinandan the captured MIG-21 and said it was a peace gesture. That made the headlines and even Trump mentioned this. The illegal insurgency by Pakistani militants encouraged by Imran Khan military and killing of the Indian BSF men are forgotten by the international leaders , because of the above gesture. Idiot Yesdurappa with his belly full of onion and garlic mixed rice blurted the political angle which was noticed by the international media and international leaders. So, for international leader in the West , Modi’s military strike was political-to get more votes for his Party in the ensuing general election.
    Modi has become the loser and he should shut up and learn lessons as to how to deal with Pakistan. Pakistan is needed by USA and the West as it allows the military personnel and equipment to pass through it destined for Afghanistan. Also, it is next to Russia which US has used in the past and now. Even the Bin Laden residence in Pakistan was not questioned at all, when he was discovered and executed.
    Modi has Nirmala Sitharaman, a woman who has no clue in defence matters as his defence minister. Everything is in shambles.
    Modi was thought as fresh air compared to Nehru dynasty and he has not done well at all. He continues to talk nonsense.


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