Why petty Pakistan delayed releasing Abhinandan Varthaman to India

Abhinandan Varthaman's release on Friday (March 1) was delayed repeatedly by Pakistani authorities.

Attari/New Delhi: Pakistan made India wait for almost the whole of Friday before releasing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The captured IAF pilot was to be released during the day but was only allowed to cross over at 2120hrs.

The reason, as per what highly-placed BSF sources told Zee News, showcases how petty authorities in Pakistan made the entire issue of handing Abhinandan - an act that was necessitated by India's firm position and the Geneva Convention rulebook.

Zee News has learnt that Pakistan Rangers had contacted BSF officials at the Attari-Wagah border early on Friday to say that they have been informed of handing over of an IAF official. They however said that they had been given no time of the handover by authorities back in Islamabad.

The Rangers subsequently got in touch to inform that Abhinandan would be handed over at 1700hrs. It is reported that Pakistan wanted maximum media attention during the handover due to India's Beating Retreat ceremony at the time. When India cancelled the Beating Retreat ceremony of the day, Pakistan grouped-in and eventually decided to delay the handover deliberately. Sources say it was a revenge strategy on Pakistan's part against India's decision to cancel the Beating Retreat ceremony.

Even when Abhinandan was about to be handed over to Indian authorities, Pakistan indulged in a brazen and shallow display of propaganda. The country released a video in which Abhinandan speaks about his two days in Pakistan. It is amply clear from the manner in which the IAF personnel is speaking, and the shoddy and several cuts during shabby video editing, that the credibility of it is highly suspect.

Returning Abhinandan was meant to be a goodwill gesture, as put by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. In the end, it turned out to be just another display of Pakistan's vulgarities and hollow attempts at acting noble.