New Delhi: IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s homecoming was delayed as he was asked to record a statement on camera by Pakistani authorities before he was allowed to cross the border on Friday, reports claimed. The video which was released by Pakistan government to the local media at 8:30 PM (local time) had several jump cuts indicating that it had been edited heavily, apparently to fit Pakistani propaganda.
In the video, Varthaman can be heard saying,”I was in search of the target when your (Pakistan) Air Force shot me down. I had to eject the plane which had sustained damage. As soon as I ejected and when my parachute opened and I fell down, I had a pistol with me. There were many people. I had only one way to save myself: I dropped my pistol and tried to run.” (Also read: ‘He Spoke Bravely, We’re Proud of Him)
“People chased me, their emotions were running high. Just then, two Pakistani Army officials came and saved me. Pakistani army captains saved from the people and did not let any harm come to me. They took me to their unit where I was administered first aid and then I was taken to the hospital where I further underwent a medical exam and received more aid. The army personnel saved me from the mob. The Pakistani army is very professional and I am impressed by it,” he further said, while criticising the Indian media.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistani media had reported that “his papers were being checked at the Wagah immigration” that was why he was not being “immediately” handed over to the Indian authorities. Varthaman was handed over to at around 9.20 pm.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, BJP chief Amit Shah and several Union ministers including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday welcomed Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman soon after he returned via Wagha border to India.