Welcome wishes pour in for IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman after his return

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 02, 2019, 11:45 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

The IAF Wing Commander returned to India from Pakistan on Friday to a hero's welcome, nearly 60 hours after he was captured following a dogfight when his MiG 21 was shot down.

As the wait for Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman's return to India from captivity in Pakistan came to an end on Friday, good wishes poured in from across the country and world.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the Wing Commander and called on the two countries to sustain the "positive momentum" and engage in further constructive dialogue.

"UN chief Guterres welcomes the news of the release of the Indian pilot by Pakistani authorities," his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told news agency PTI.

The IAF Wing Commander returned to India from Pakistan on Friday to a hero's welcome, nearly 60 hours after he was captured following a dogfight when his MiG 21 was shot down.

In a statement French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian said, "I welcome the easing of tensions between India and Pakistan as well as the release of the Indian Air Force pilot detained in Pakistan."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcoming Abhinandan's return to India, said the nation is proud of his exemplary courage.

He also said the country's armed forces are an inspiration for the 130 crore Indians.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Twitter said, "Welcome Home! The entire nation is proud of Wing Commander Abhinandan."

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BJP national president Amit Shah too tweeted, "Dear Wing Commander Abhinandan, entire nation is proud of your courage and valour. India is glad to have you back. May you continue to serve the nation and IAF with unparalleled passion and dedication. Best wishes for your bright future."

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also appreciated Abhinandan’s valour and grit. She tweeted, "Proud of you Wing Commander #Abhinandan Varthaman. 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."

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi also expressed his happiness and also said that he is proud of the Air Force officer."Wing Cdr. Abhinandan, your dignity, poise, and bravery made us all proud. Welcome back and much love," tweeted Gandhi.

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