New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will return home on Friday. He is likely to be received by a delegation of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Wagah Border around 2 PM. His safe return to India comes in the wake of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement in Parliament on Thursday that the IAF pilot would be released tomorrow (March 1) as a ‘peace gesture’. (Click here to watch live streaming of Wing Commander Abhinandan’s release on Zee News)

The IAF pilot Abhinandan has been in Pakistan since his MiG 21 was shot and he bailed out after bringing down one Pakistani F-16 fighter during a dogfight after three Pakistani jets violated Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera and Poonch on Wednesday.

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Tensions between the two countries escalated after India carried ‘pre-emptive’ strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot during wee hours on Tuesday. The action came in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed on February 14 in south Kashmir as an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into a bus in the convoy. The attack was carried out by JeM militant Adil Ahmad Dar.