After hours of waiting, finally Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman returned home on Friday night from his nearly three-day captivity in Pakistan.
He was captured by Pakistanis on February 27 after his MiG-21 crashed in the Pakistan-occupied territory. Later, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in his country’s parliament that the Wing Commander is being released as a “goodwill gesture.”
Hoping to give a hero’s welcome to Wing Commander, thousands of Indians gathered on the border carrying the tricolour and garlands. However, he emerged at 9.10 pm(IST) at the Wagah check-post on the Pakistani side.
It was a moment of joy for the entire nation as he stepped on the Indian soil almost after 60 hours. The BCCI posted a special message for the IAF pilot on their official Twitter handle with his name engraved on a Team India jersey.
“#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan You rule the skies and you rule our hearts. Your courage and dignity will inspire generations to come #TeamIndia,” the BCCI tweeted.
#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan You rule the skies and you rule our hearts. Your courage and dignity will inspire generations to come 🇮🇳 #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/PbG385LUsE
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 1, 2019
The Indian cricket fraternity took to Twitter to express their happiness, here are some tweets
The nation salutes your valour , selflessness and grit. #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan 🙏 pic.twitter.com/N432Qk2ajT
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 1, 2019
We salute your bravery #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan 🇮🇳
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) March 1, 2019
A hero is more than just four letters. Through his courage, selflessness and perseverance, OUR HERO teaches us to have faith in ourselves.#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan
Jai Hind 🇮🇳
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 1, 2019
Real Hero. I bow down to you. Jai Hind 🙏🙏🇮🇳🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/kDgocwpclA
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 1, 2019
Relief. Joy. Moved. #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 1, 2019
How proud we are to have you ! Bow down to your skills and even more your grit and courage 🙏 #WelcomeBackAbhinandan . We love you and are filled with pride because of you.#WeAreSupposedToTellYouThis pic.twitter.com/IfqBFNNa3T
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 1, 2019
I must say I was nervous before he returned. I am glad India got its son back!!! #Abhinanadan #AbhinanadanVarthaman pic.twitter.com/xz3XA0qElR
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) March 1, 2019
Welcome to our motherland #WingCommanderAbhinandan Another name for bravery https://t.co/PlMCWgqBsf
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) March 1, 2019