Headline

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets Wing Commander in hospital

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets Wing Commander in hospital: On Saturday Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was freed by Pakistan last night and is now in a Delhi hospital. Wing Commander Abhinandan reached in the national capital about 11.45 pm last night, just about two-and-a-half hours after he crossed Wagah-Attari border in Punjab.

New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at Army’s R.R. hospital, who was captured by Pakistan during an aerial combat, in New Delhi, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (PTI Photo) (PTI3_2_2019_000153B)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sitharaman told Abhinandan that entire nation is proud of his courage and determination, officials said
  • During the meeting at a medical facility of the Indian Air Force, Varthaman is understood to have explained to Sitharaman details of his nearly 60-hour detention in Pakistan

On his welcoming, Prime Minister Narendra 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!”

For the duration of her interface with the wing commander, Sitharaman asked about his health. The officer was in great inner self and was glad to meet the defence minister. Sitharaman conveyed to Wing Commander Abhinandan that the entire nation is honoured of his bravery and willpower.

For the period of the meeting that held at a medical facility of the Indian Air Force, the IAF pilot is understood to have give details to Sitharaman about his period in custody of the Pakistan Army.

Nirmala Sitharaman Meets IAF Pilot Abhinandan

Abinandan is going through the medical check-up after his coming back from Pakistan, where he was in custody of the army for around 60 hours.

The first response of IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was “It is good to be back in my country,” as he set his foot back on Indian soil.

On his homecoming, Arun Jaitley also welcomed him by tweeting, “India’s happiness on return of Wing Commander Abhinandan is unprecedented. I salute the courage and resilience of Wg Commander Abhinandan.”

In the course of the aerial combat among the air forces of India and Pakistan on Wednesday morning the IAF pilot had landed on the other side of the Line of Control. The Pakistan Air Force had break through Indian flight exclusion zone and tried to target military base camps.

His MiG 21 Bison was also shot down. He cast out the aircraft but his parachute goes with the flow in the direction of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where he was detained by the Pakistan Army. He was freed by Pakistan among rising international pressure to de-escalate tension among the two countries.

President Ram Nath Kovind also took to Twitter to welcome the pilot back, he tweeted, “India is proud of your courage and sense of duty, and above all your dignity. Wishing you and our entire Air Force every success in the future”.

Other political party’s members also welcomed Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman such as BSP chief Mayawati wrote, “Hearty welcome safe return of IAF pilot Abhinandan from Pak custody. Big relief & ease of tension is natural but sensing sea change in security scenario around, India must have a long, lasting & credible policy for its security-honour besides a good policy to deal with neighbours.”

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said, “The hero finally walks back. A grateful nation salutes Wing Commander Abhinandan”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called the release a “peace gesture,” and on the other hand, the Indian Air Force said it was “happy” to have him back. IAF through their official twitter account wrote on Twitter, “We have Wg Cdr Abhinandan back with us. Indian Air Force is proud of our Airwarrior #Abhinandan”.