Shailesh Kumar, National Defene
New Delhi, 01 March 2019
India’s hero pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returns home from the captivity of adversary Pakistan. Wing Cdr Abhinandan was handed over to Indian authorities by Pakistan Rangers at Wagah border. Indians at Wagah border and in mainland celebrated the home coming of hero pilot who brought down most modern Pakistani F-16 D fighter jet, which intruded in Indian air space.
Indians celebrated home coming by bursting fire crackers. Wg Cdr Abhinandan walked with confidence, in self composed, straight gestrure, and crossed over in no hurry.
Pakistan has released a doctored video of Wg Cdr Abhinandan with some 17 cuts before the release forcing him to speak against Indian media as part of ISI’s propodanda war. Wg Cdr Abhinandan was first supposed to be handed over at 4 pm. India in view of the handing over cancelled the beating retreat. Pakistan planned to delay and extend the hand over to test Indians’ patience and create the feeling of frustration as part of it’s psychological warfare. Indian authorities has taken Abhinandan for medical check up and thereafter he willbe taken to airforce station after which he is likely to return to Delhi to his parents.
Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted, “Proud of you Wing Commander
#AbhinandanVarthaman. The entire nation appreciates your valour and grit. You held your calm in the face of adversity. You are an inspiration to our youth. Salute. Vande Mataram”.
Proud of you Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman. The entire nation appreciates your valour and grit. You held your calm in the face of adversity. You are an inspiration to our youth. Salute. Vande Mataram.
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) March 1, 2019
Soon after PM Modi tweeted, “Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians. Vande Mataram!”
Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan!
The nation is proud of your exemplary courage.
Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 1, 2019
Indians hail his heroic deeds as not even military aviation enthusiast in the world would have ever imagined that a vintage aircraft of 1960s like MiG-21 Bison can take on F-16 fighter aicraft.
However, a parallel do exist in history. During 1965 and 1971 India’s ace fighter pilot Wg Cdr Vinod Nebb (Retd) shot down the then most modern F-86 Sabre jets of PAF in eyeball to eyeball dogfight, each time with his vintage Hunter aircraft.
Pakistan has still not officially acknowledged the loss of it’s F-16 D. Perhaps because, the US laws prohibit Pakistan of using F-16s for offensive role against any country. However, Indian Armed Forces in a joint press conference presented facts with documents and parts of a missile only used by F-16 jet in PAF. The home coming of Wg Cdr Abhinandan ensued diplomatic moves by Pakistan, who did not want the situation to escalate after India’s Surgical Strikes 2.0 on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot.
Pakistan is yet to take any action against international terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar and his terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad after it officially recieved dossier on the terror organisation.
To save face, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) tried to intrude into Indian air space and unsuccessfully hit some targets. Last evening, Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced in Parliament to unilaterally release Wg Cdr Abhinandan. However, according to defence experts, the release was due as per Geneva Convention. Earlier, Pakistan Armed Forces has been blatantly violting the convention and tortured soldiers when taken as Prisioners of War (POW); martyred Captain Saurabh Kalia is one such glaring example.
Pakistan is trying to project Imran Khan as a statesman, however neither Pakistan’s press nor western media portrait that image. of Indian statesman when India returned ove 90,000 POW. Infact, Indian military leaders set examples of being greater statesman.
Wing Commander Vinod Nebb (Retd) recalls that during 1965 Indo- Pak war when he was fighting the war, the helicopter of the son of Field Marshal Cariappa was shot down by Pakistani forces. Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ayub Khan offered him to release after knowing his credentials. But Field Marshal Cariappa replied, “He is my son no longer. He is the child of this country, a soldier fighting for his motherland like a patriot. My many thanks for your kind gesture but I request you to release all or release none”.
Wg Cdr Abhinandan’s parents and wife shown great resilience and courage and stood for the valour of Wg Cdr Abhinandan who bravely and boldly faced the enemy without giving in to his behaviour. National Defence on behalf of it’s viewers and readers welcomes the great air warrior Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman. We salute him, his family and the great Indian Air Force. Jaihind!