First VISUALS of Indian pilot handover by Pakistan released
In the video footage, Abhinandan is walked to a heavily guarded border crossing by Pakistani officers, before being handed over peacefully to Indian forces, who walk him across the frontier with an arm around his back. The Wing Commander is then driven away in a police car.
The footage released by Pakistani media showed Varthaman walking across the border into India, near the town of Wagah, just before 9pm local time (1600 GMT).
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan released Abhinandan “as a peace gesture,” and he received a hero’s welcome when he arrived back on Indian soil on Friday.
Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was shot down over the disputed territory of Kashmir on Wednesday. The incident came after Indian jets struck suspected terrorist training camps in Pakistan one day earlier, in retaliation for a suicide bombing in India two weeks beforehand.
While Abhinandan’s release was welcomed in India, tension remains high between the two nuclear powers. Indian Army Major General Surendra Singh Mahal told reporter on Thursday that “as long as Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists, we will continue to target the terror camps.”
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