IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman returns home

Attari: Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was captured by Pakistani security personnel during a dogfight near the Line of Control (LoC) on February 27 returned to India after arriving at Attari Wagah border on Friday evening from Lahore.

Sources said that Abhinandan was accompanied by Indian High Commission officials from Islamabad. He entered India after completing formalities at Wagah.

The IAF pilot was captured in Pakistan on February 27 after his MIG-21 Bison fighter jet was shot down during a dogfight near the Line of Control (LoC), just a day after 12 Indian Mirage 2000 aircrafts launched airstrikes on terror camps and launch pads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region in Pakistan.

Following the incident, India put back-channel diplomatic pressure with the help of allies to make Pakistan release the pilot immediately under the rules of Geneva Conventions.

On Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in their National Assembly that Abhinandan would be set free as ‘peace gesture’.

With agency inputs..