Live updates: IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman crosses over to India

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 01, 2019, 10:30 AM (IST)

Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Photograph: ANI

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Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman walked back into his homeland via the Attari-Wagah border on Friday night.

Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan told the National Assembly yesterday that the Pakistan government would be releasing captain Vathaman on Friday.

The development came after a media report said foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was willing to consider returning the Indian pilot if it led to "de-escalation".

A government source had said earlier that India won't allow a "Kandahar-like" situation this time.  "If they think they will hold us hostage with our captured defence personnel, this won't happen," the sources added.

India on Wednesday had summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah and demanded an immediate and safe return of the IAF pilot who was detained by Pakistan following an aerial engagement by Air forces of the two countries.

Mar 01, 2019, 10:24 PM

Prime Minister Modi welcomed Wing Commander Abhinandan after he returned to India.

In a tweet, PM Modi said: "Welcome home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians."

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Mar 01, 2019, 09:42 PM

IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was accompanied by IAF Group Captain Joy Thomas Kurien, Defence Attache to Indian High Commission in Pakistan.


Mar 01, 2019, 09:32 PM

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been handed over to us. He will now be taken for a detailed medical checkup because he had to eject from an aircraft. IAF is happy to have him back: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor at Attari-Wagah border


Mar 01, 2019, 09:23 PM

At exactly 9:21 pm, after several hours wait, IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman crossed over to India and shook hands with Indian officials at the Wagah border.


Mar 01, 2019, 09:20 PM

IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is standing at the Wagah gate awaiting clearance from Pakistan authorities to cross over to India.


Mar 01, 2019, 09:17 PM

IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is at the gates of the Wagha border, set to cross over to India.


Mar 01, 2019, 04:33 PM

Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commmander Abhinandan Varthaman reached the Wagah border after a long wait as a large crowd gathered to welcome him amid heavy security.


Mar 01, 2019, 02:40 PM

"I really want to tell him that we are all proud of him. The way that he stood up to the questioning and all is top class. Many congrats and welcome back home," Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh. 

amarinder singh

 


Mar 01, 2019, 02:29 PM

"The Beating the Retreat ceremony at Attari-Wagah Border will not be held today. Senior team of the Indian Air Force will receive Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman," Deputy Commissioner Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, Amritsar. 

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Mar 01, 2019, 02:21 PM

Varthaman's parents, Air Marshal (retd) S Varthaman and Dr Shobha Varthaman, were given a standing ovation as passengers made way for them in the early hours of Friday, ensuring that the couple gets off first.

The plane landed at the Delhi airport for about an hour after midnight on Friday. 


Mar 01, 2019, 01:47 PM

It is the first of many steps that Pakistan must take to reinforce their commitment to peace. We need an affirmative & verifiable action by Pakistan against terrorism: VK Singh

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Mar 01, 2019, 12:46 PM

"Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will cross the border today, can't tell you exact time since there are certain formalities. A senior Indian Air force team from Delhi is here, they will be the ones to receive him," Deputy Commissioner Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, Amritsar. 

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Mar 01, 2019, 12:24 PM

"Happy that Abhinandan is being released by Pakistan. We are also happy that Pak feels it as a peace gesture, but there is more to be done by Pakistan. It has to do efforts to make good environment between the two nations," Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs, VK Singh on Wg Cdr Varthaman's release by Pakistan. vk singh


Mar 01, 2019, 11:54 AM

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi confirmed on Friday, "The Indian Pilot will be released this afternoon via Wagah."

qureshi


Mar 01, 2019, 11:38 AM

People gather at Attari-Wagah border ahead of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman release today. 

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Mar 01, 2019, 11:24 AM

Indian High Commission, Islamabad completes Wing Commander Abhinandan’s travel documentation. 


Mar 01, 2019, 11:05 AM

Captain Varthaman will released today and is expected to walk back to India through Attari-Wagah between 3-4 pm. 


Mar 01, 2019, 10:50 AM

Visuals from the Attari-Wagah border. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released by Pakistan today. 

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Mar 01, 2019, 10:35 AM

The development came after India put up a definite stand on Varthaman's return, stating there will be "no deal" entertained on the matter. International pressure also mounted on Pak government. 

A media report said foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was willing to consider returning the Indian pilot if it led to "de-escalation".

A government source had said earlier that India won't allow a "Kandahar-like" situation this time.  "If they think they will hold us hostage with our captured defence personnel, this won't happen," the sources added.

India on Wednesday had summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah and demanded an immediate and safe return of the IAF pilot who was detained by Pakistan following an aerial engagement by Air forces of the two countries.


Mar 01, 2019, 10:33 AM

Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be walking back into India via the Attari-Wagah border shortly.

Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan told the National Assembly yesterday that the Pakistan government would be releasing captain Varthaman on Friday.

Wing Commander Varthaman, son of a decorated IAF veteran, was captured by Pakistan after his jet went down following a strike by an enemy missile. 

Vardaman's MiG 21 was shot and he bailed out after bringing down one Pakistani F-16 fighter during a dogfight to repel a Pakistani attack on Wednesday morning. He has been in Pakistan since then.




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