Published: Sat, March 02, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Indian pilot shot down in Kashmir by Pakistan returns home

Indian pilot shot down in Kashmir by Pakistan returns home

Pakistan prepared to release a captured Indian pilot on Friday as the nuclear powers scaled back their confrontation, at least temporarily, while Indian opposition politicians raised doubts over whether an initial airstrike had destroyed a militant camp in Pakistan.

The scheduled release of the pilot came as Pakistani civil aviation authorities announced that four airports would begin partial operations later Friday, following their suspension after military tensions with India erupted earlier this week. The development came nearly two days after Pakistan captured him after his MiG-21 Bison fighter jet was shot down in action with Pakistan Air Force jets near the LoC.

Abhinandan's father said he was very proud of his son's bravery and hoped for his safe return home.

The court has admitted the petition for hearing.

Images then circulated of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's capture, which were condemned for what appeared to be a physical attack at the hands of residents in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, but also praised because of the actions of the Pakistani soldiers who intervened to create a barrier.

The Border Security Force (BSF) conducts the ceremony in coordination with their cross-border counterparts, Pak Rangers.

Abhinandan was captured by the Pakistan Army after his fighter jet crashed in an air duel with a Pakistani F-16. He was subsequently captured by the Pakistani military in a particularly dramatic development to an already volatile conflict. India long has accused Pakistan of cultivating such militant groups to attack it. Pakistan has said it was not involved in that attack and was ready to help New Delhi in the investigation.

The pilot is being hailed as a hero in India, with fireworks being set off in the capital Delhi. From New Delhi, they travelled to Amritsar to welcome Wing Commander Abhinandan. In other news, Pakistan which had closed its airspace for the last two days, will be opening it by 6:30 pm today.

The pilot, seen here in a video released by Pakistan's military, has been praised for his behaviour in captivity. His handover took several hours as procedures including a medical checkup to verify his health and condition were completed before he was turned over to Indian officials. Indian media reports said India wanted to send a special plane to bring back the 35-year-old wing commander, but Pakistan turned down the request.

"People should decide if they trust India's armed forces or not", he said at an event on Friday.

Abhinandan's family has served the Indian Air Force for generations, since the second World War. "I dropped my pistol there and started running". The Indian officials were asked to reach Wagah border to receive their man, they added. I have spent time with the Pakistani army.

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