India breathed a sigh of relief along with Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s family and friends as the brave pilot was released by Pakistan in what they called a “gesture of peace” through the Wagah-Attari joint check-post on Friday.
Abhinandan was captured across the Line of Control after shooting down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 jet. He was beaten by mobs before being rescued by Pakistani army personnel. And things brightened for the Chennai lad when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was being freed on Friday after New Delhi sought his unconditional, immediate and unharmed release.
No sooner than the news broke out, #Welcome Abhinandan started doing the rounds of social media platforms. Celebs, commoners, politicians and everyone in between expressed their good wishes for the pilot’s safe return and praised his nerves of steel during the tough times. Back home in Chennai, many congratulated the wing commander on his calm and composed demeanour while choosing not to answer the Pakistani army’s questions.
The Chithiram Pesuthadi 2 actor Ashok is all praises for the soldier’s courage. “Apart from being proud and happy as an Indian to see our brother returning safely to our Motherland… Heart goes out to salute the grit and valour of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who is a prototype of the kind of soldiers we have in our Defence Forces. Can’t refrain from being awestruck and inspired by a True Hero, who shines despite being in the midst of adversities. Calm, composed, controlled in a state where our hearts would pound a 1000 beats per minute!” says the actor.
Actor-producer Neelima too echoed the above sentiments. “He is our real hero, he maintained his dignity and patriotism by not answering the key questions asked by the Pakistani army which shows his patience and the trust he has on the IAF… looking forward to welcome our brother with roaring applause,” says the actress.
Naga Venkat, a city youngster is overjoyed to welcome the brave heart who hails from Chennai. “This indeed is a big victory for India. Kudos to the Government and the Armed forces for taking a firm stance against Pakistan vis-á-vis the release of the IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman,” he says.
Niharika Singh feels that the return of the IAF pilot and de-escalation of the tensions between the two neighbours are definitely events to celebrate. “A wing commander who is to come back to his country after a great war. Pak returns a wing commander for de-escalation of tension.”
Martin Jeyaraj. S, a city student, is of the opinion that the fact that Pakistan treated the Indian soldier with dignity and this move by the otherwise terror sponsoring country should be applauded.
“Happy to hear from Pakistan PM Imran Khan, and the Pak army treated him as a one of other country commander. Even though Indian PM and all the ministers of the Centre kept quiet, this move has been celebrated by all youngsters who use #saytonowar in all social media,” he says.
Surya .H. Bharatwaaj too feels that the return of the IAF pilot should be seen as a stance of brotherhood and peace prevailing between the two countries. “It’s a moment and movement of peace for the countries of brotherhood to spread love alone. It is indeed the happiest phase of the Pakistan government in showing a mark of peace and every Indian youth feels the new oxygen that is spread around the two countries. Certain factors stood imperfect a week before and Abhinandhan’s entry erased the dark spots on either of the countries at least to some extent. Being responsible youths of the generation, we sense brotherhood at last,” he says.
IAF on Thursday said it is very happy that captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is returning home but dismissed that it was a goodwill gesture and insisted it was in line with the Geneva Convention.
Wing Commander Abhinandan was brought by Pakistani authorities from Rawalpindi to Lahore and then handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention before being brought to the Wagah-Attari check posts to return home....