Chennai, Feb 28 : After two days of anxiety and uncertainty,agony paved away for ecstasy, as the parents and family members of IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan heaved a sigh of relief after Pakistan decided to release him from its custody.The announcement made by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that Abhinandan would be released tomorrow as a gesture of peace and humanitarian grounds, triggered instant celebrations as scores of well-wishers and locals, who had gathered in frontof the residence of Abhi's father S Varthaman, also a retired IAF official, at Madambakkam near suburban Tambaram, erupted in joy.
They welcomed Mr Imran Khan's announcement and celebrated it by distributing sweets to all those present there, including hordes of media personnel, who had stay put there since last evening after reports confirmed that one of the missing IAF pilot held captive by Pakistan military was Abhinandan.
While hailing the Pakistan's announcement, the locals thanked the ndian Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking expeditious steps for ensuring the safe release of Abhinandan.On hearing the news that Abhi was held captive by Pakistan military last evening, his parents and family members were distraught and were hoping against hope and prayed for his safe release.
Their prayers and that of crores of prayers of Indians were answered, when Mr Imran Khan made the announcement in Pakistan Parliament, much to the relief of the Indian government, and more especially, the parents and family members of Abhinandan.
After Pakistan confirmed that one of the Indian Pilots were in their custody and was identified as Abhinandan,the issue escalated the growing tensions between the two countries and also drew worldwide attention with leaders of various countries calling for safe release of the IAF pilot.
Leaders of various political parties across the country, including those from Tamil Nadu, cited the Geneva Convention agreed upon by countries and wanted Pakistan to treat Abhinandan with dignity and respect. Leaders of various political parties visited the residence of Mr Varthaman and pledged their support and solidarity in this hour of crisis. People, cutting across political barriers, also pledged their support and prayed for the safe release of Abhi from Pakistan custody.