28 Feb 2019
He's a true soldier: Abhinandan Varthaman's father praises son's bravery
Written byShalini OjhaIndia
Abhinandan's father veteran Air Marshal Varthaman appreciated his son's bravery and thanked everyone for their warm wishes.
Backstory: PAF jets attempted to breach Indian airspace
PAF jets tried to enter Indian airspace on Wednesday but timely intervention by IAF forced them to return.
The battle ended in the downing of one F-16 Pakistani jet while India lost one MiG 21. But what served as a setback to Indian side was Abhinandan's capture.
After his jet crashed, Abhinandan ejected safely but was taken into custody by Pakistani forces.
Varthaman senior appreciates how his son talked
The distressing news of Abhinandan's capture united the nation in prayers as everyone hoped for his early return.
Giving his first reaction on the turn of events, Marshal Varthaman said, "I thank God for his blessings. Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind. Just look at the way he talked so bravely. A true soldier."
He added he was proud of him.
Hope he is not tortured: Varthaman senior
"I pray that he does not get tortured, and comes home safe and sound in body and mind. Thank you all for being with us in this hour of need. We draw our strengths from your support and energy," the proud father said.
Here's what happened after Abhinandan's jet crashed
Notably, a report in Dawn brought to attention what happened after Abhinandan's jet crashed.
After ejecting safely, the pilot asked young boys gathered around where he was. When told it was India, Abhinandan started shouting few slogans.
Unable to digest his words, some youth shouted "Pakistani army zindabad", and Abhinandan knew his whereabouts.
However, the veracity of this report is questionable.
Abhinandan was roughed up by few locals
Before he was found, Abhinandan apparently tried to eat few documents and destroy others in a nearby pond.
The IAF pilot ran for nearly half a kilometer away from the boys, who chased him with stones.
Some of the boys caught Abhinandan and manhandled him. He was rescued by army personnel and taken to a camp in Bhimber.
Meanwhile, India has asked Pakistan to return him soon
On Wednesday, the Indian government summoned Pakistan's envoy and lodged a strong protest over his country's actions.
The official was reminded that India didn't attack military establishments of Pakistan but launched a pre-emptive strike against terrorists. Unlike India, Pakistan attacked military installments on Wednesday.
India demanded the immediate return of Abhinandan and asked Pakistan to not harm him in any way.