Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is back in India after spending over two days in Pakistan. He was brought to Wagah border from where he moved on to Attari border on the Indian side. He was greeted with cheers and sloganeering from people who were waiting for his arrival with bated breath while holding the Indian flag in their hands. He was received by a delegation of top IAF officials. He is being accompanied by defence attache and Pakistan diplomats.
— ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2019
The 35-year-old Wing Commander was in Pakistan's captivity since Wednesday after his MiG 21 was shot and he bailed out during a dogfight to repel an attack by the neighbouring country.
The Wing Commander's return was announced by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, calling it a peace gesture. The IAF, however, claimed that the move was 'no goodwill gesture, but in consonance with the Geneva Conventions'.
Tensions between the two countries escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early on Tuesday. It came 12 days after the JeM claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.