Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force has been finally handed over to India, two days after he was captured by Pakistan following the downing of his aircraft over the Kashmir region.
In the meantime, the Pakistani government has issued a video of Varthaman's speech, where the latter praises "the professionalism of Pakistan Armed Forces."
Statement of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman praising the professionalism of Pakistan Armed Forces. He regretted the role of Indian Media for creating war hysteria.#PakistanLeadsWithPeace #GivePeaceAChance pic.twitter.com/v2gSXJfWE6— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) 1 марта 2019 г.
Earlier, conflicting reports said that the time of the procedure had been postponed until 9 p.m. local time.
Sources: Pakistan has changed the timing of handover of IAF's Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman twice. Indian defence minister is keeping a close watch on proceedings. The handover might now take place at 9 pm tonight. pic.twitter.com/2GUIzhrP89— ANI (@ANI) 1 марта 2019 г.
Hundreds of Indian have gathered at the Attari-Wagah border to meet the pilot, who is welcomed like a hero.
The announcement was made a day after Indian jets crossed into Pakistan to bomb a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in the disputed region.
India's air raids in Pakistan came after a deadly terrorist attack, involving a car carrying over 100 pounds of explosives being detonated next to a security convoy, killing 45 Indian paramilitary officers.
India named Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group residing in Pakistan, as the person responsible for ordering the attack and accused Pakistan of harbouring and protecting terrorists.
In turn, Pakistan rejected the allegations of its involvement in the attack.