Islamabad, March 13 (India Today): Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman seems to have carved a niche for himself in the hearts of many people in Pakistan, who love to portray him as the harbinger of friendship.
A tea stall somewhere in the country has put up a banner with an image of Wing Commander Varthaman, sipping tea, and the text on the banner in Urdu reads: “Aisi Chai Ki Dushman Ko Bhi Dost Banaye.” The banner has been shared by a Twitter user named Omar Farooq.
“Somewhere at a Pakistani tea stall, a banner with Abhinandan’s photo reads-‘Aisi chai ki dushman ko bhi dost banaye,” the user posted on his Twitter handle along with the photograph of the banner.
The image of Wing Commander Varthaman visibly shows him as calm, confident and determined.
Wing Commander Varthaman was chasing Pakistani jets with a MiG -21 Bison fighter plane in Jammu and Kashmir on February 27 and crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) where his aircraft was shot down during the fierce dogfight.
He ejected safely and was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army when his parachute drifted and fell inside the PoK. He was released on March 1 after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 28 announced to release him as “a peace gesture.”
According to sources, Wing Commander Varthaman had informed the top brass of IAF that he was subjected to a lot of mental harassment, though he was not physically tortured by Pakistan military authorities.
On March 4, IAF Chief Air Marshal BS Dhanoa clarified that Varthaman will fly an aircraft again after he is declared fit.