The IAF team has already arrived at Attari border to receive India’s braveheart Abhinandan, the wing commander of IAF under the custody of Pakistan, who will be transferred to India on Friday.
Abhinandan’s father Varthaman, who is also a retired Air Marshal Wing Commander, and mother are also accompanying the IAF team. Abhinandan is likely to be brought from Rawalpindi to Lahore and handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross under rules of the Geneva Convention. Later, the IAF pilot will be brought to the JCP between 12 noon and 2 pm to return home.
Wing Commander Varthaman will be debriefed by defence and security officials after his return. The development came almost 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. Though Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has expressed his wish to receive Abhinandan Varthaman at the Attari border, the latest updates reportedly said that he will not be part of the team that to receive Abhinandan.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not make any direct reference to Abhinandan's release, addressing a gathering at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, he said that a 'pilot project has been completed'. His remarks were received with thunderous applause from the audience.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced that the country will free Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday as a peace gesture amid escalating tensions between the two countries.