Pak to release Abhinandan Varthaman

India’s prayers have been heard for IAF wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The IAF pilot who was captured by the Pakistani troops will be released tomorrow, March 1 (Friday). Pakistan Primi Minister Imran Khan said, “In our desire of peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody.”

Varthaman was held captive by Pakistani troops after his MiG-21 Bison jet crashed on Pakistani soil, February 27. Soon after the video of him held by Pakistani troops did rounds where he is seen blindfolded and only saying his name, rank and religion before telling the Pakistani Army, “I’m sorry, sir… That’s all I’m supposed to tell you.” No sooner, Twitter lost calm and from celebrities to netizens trended the hashtag #BringBackAbhinandan. Notably,  Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto tweeted, “Pakistan must maintain this profoundly moral stand. It would be an important gesture to release the captured Indian airforce pilot. Our commitment at this moment must be to peace and humanity.”

Varthaman (34) an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla. He has been a fighter pilot for 16 years. His father is retired Air Marshal S Varthaman, a decorated officer who had served as the Eastern Air Command chief.