It is a day of celebration for India as Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was taken into custody by Pakistani rangers; three days ago will be repatriated today.
Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan yesterday announced the release of captured Varthaman, calling it a peace gesture.
Varthaman's MiG 21 was shot and he bailed out after bringing down one Pakistani F-16 fighter during an air battle to repel a Pakistani attack on Wednesday.
It is worth mentioning that, Abhinandan's father, Retd Air Marshal S Varthaman, and his wife, Dr Shobha Varthama were greeted with loud cheers and salutes by passengers who shared the flight with them from Chennai to Delhi last night.
A viral video shows how the proud parents of Abhinandan received a heart-warming welcome on the flight, as passengers applauded and thanked them for giving India, a warrior like Abhinandan.
From the common man to Ministers to Bollywood stars, every Indian is celebrating the moment, hailing it as a "victory for India."
"Dear @narendramodiji ,Im touring the border areas of Punjab & Im presently in Amritsar. Came to know that @pid_gov has decided to release #AbhinandanVartaman from Wagha. It will bea honourfor me to go and receive him, as he and his father arealumnusof the NDA as I am," Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted on Thursday.
"T 3103 - Abhinandan ....," wrote Amitabh Bachchan on Twitter after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Abhinandan will be released by Pakistan on Friday.
Indiaused diplomatic and military pressure to ensure thatPakistanreleases Wing CommanderAbhinandan Varthamanunconditionally, top sources said in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Modi made no compromises on thePakistani proposal for holding talks, the sources said.
Khan announced inPakistanParliament that Abhinandan will be released on Friday as a peace gesture.
Indiamounted pressure onPakistanthrough the international community, with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval holding talks with the US and other P-5 countries, the sources said.
The External Affairs Ministry also exerted pressure onPakistanthrough the Arab world, they said.
Wing Commander Varthaman, flying a MiG -21 Bison fighter plane, was chasingPakistani jets which transgressed into Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday and crossed over to PoK where his aircraft was shot down. He ejected safely and was taken to the custody by thePakistani Army. (ANI)