After yielding to severe international pressure, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday had announced that they will release Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. However, Pakistan has refused to send Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman by air, reported Hindustan Times.
According to the reports, India had conveyed to Pakistan authorities that it wants Wing Commander Varthaman to be sent back via aerial route and not through the Wagah land border. However, Pakistan has declined to India’s request and last night communicated to India that he will be returned through the Attari-Wagah border.
Abhinandan will be received by a senior team of the Indian Air Force and will be flown to Delhi from Amritsar for debriefing.
The Indian defence establishment had reportedly thought of sending a special aircraft to Pakistan to bring back Wing Commander Varthaman who was captured by Pakistan after he had shot down Pakistan Air Force F-16 jet during aerial combat on Wednesday.
However, reports state that Abhinandan will be brought first to Lahore to the International Committee of Red Cross as per rules laid down under Geneva Conventions.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is all set to receive a grand heroic welcome in India. As per reports, Abhinandan’s parents will be present at the joint check post to receive their son. They traveled from Chennai to Delhi last night. Upon boarding the aircraft from Chennai airport, they were greeted with loud cheers, claps, and greetings by fellow passengers.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had declared on Thursday that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be freed on Friday after New Delhi had put pressure seeking his unconditional and immediate release. India had made it clear that it is not going to hold any talks or negotiations as far as the safe return of Abhinandan Varthaman is concerned.
The BSF has canceled the usual beating the retreat ceremony at the Wagah Attari border today. Hundreds of Indians are waiting with garlands, posters, and drums to welcome the brave pilot at the Wagah border.