He finally emerged at 9.10 p.m(IST) at the Wagah checkpost on the Pakistani side, accompanied by Pakistani rangers, the Indian air attache posted in the High Commission in Islamabad. He was wearing a civilian clothes -- a dark jacket and khakhi trousers, walking proudly toward the gates that separated his captors' country from his homeland.

Varthaman was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after an air combat between the air forces of the two countries, a day after New Delhi had conducted counter-terror operations in Pakistan's Balakot.

"We are happy to have him back," said a top IAF officer shortly after Varthaman was handed over to Indian authorities.

Reading out a brief statement, Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, assistant chief of Air Staff, told a posse of reporters that the pilot will be taken for a detailed medical examination as he was subjected to lot of stress during his nearly three-day captivity.

"He will be taken for a detailed medical checkup. The officer has had to eject from a plane which would have put his body under immense strain," said Kapoor.

Later the night, Varthaman was taken to Delhi. A group of people gave a rousing welcome to him at the Palam airport, from where he would be taken straight to Army's Research and Referral Hospital here for thorough medical checkup, sources said. He will undergo debriefing today which will include his physiological as well as a physical check-up in the presence of officials from the military and Intelligence agencies. 
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Good to be back in my country, says IAF pilot Abhinandan VarthamanGood to be back in my country, says IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman
Good to be back in my country, says IAF pilot Abhinandan VarthamanGood to be back in my country, says IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman

Good to be back in my country, says IAF pilot Abhinandan VarthamanGood to be back in my country, says IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman


New Delhi: "It is good to be back in my country," was the first reaction of IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as he set his foot back on Indian soil.

This was stated by an official quoting Varthaman after he received the pilot at the Attari-Wagah border soon after his release by Pakistan.

In its reaction, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Twitter, "We have Wg Cdr Abhinandan back with us. Indian Air Force is proud of our Airwarrior #Abhinandan."

He finally emerged at 9.10 p.m(IST) at the Wagah checkpost on the Pakistani side, accompanied by Pakistani rangers, the Indian air attache posted in the High Commission in Islamabad. He was wearing a civilian clothes -- a dark jacket and khakhi trousers, walking proudly toward the gates that separated his captors' country from his homeland.

Varthaman was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after an air combat between the air forces of the two countries, a day after New Delhi had conducted counter-terror operations in Pakistan's Balakot.

"We are happy to have him back," said a top IAF officer shortly after Varthaman was handed over to Indian authorities.

Reading out a brief statement, Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, assistant chief of Air Staff, told a posse of reporters that the pilot will be taken for a detailed medical examination as he was subjected to lot of stress during his nearly three-day captivity.

"He will be taken for a detailed medical checkup. The officer has had to eject from a plane which would have put his body under immense strain," said Kapoor.

Later the night, Varthaman was taken to Delhi. A group of people gave a rousing welcome to him at the Palam airport, from where he would be taken straight to Army's Research and Referral Hospital here for thorough medical checkup, sources said. He will undergo debriefing today which will include his physiological as well as a physical check-up in the presence of officials from the military and Intelligence agencies. 



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