"We want to see him back" - Air Force team likely to receive pilot Abhinandan
New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) ".....We want to see him back," Indian Air Force have said welcoming the announcement of the release of the captured pilot Wg Cdr Abhinandan from Pakistan custody.
A delegation of Indian Air Force team will on Friday arrive at Wagah border to receive the Wing Commander Abhinandan, whose father too has been a decorated Air Force officer, sources said.
Meanwhile, a former army officer and the incumbent Punjab Chief Capt Amarinder Singh has requested the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be part of the delegation to receive him saying it will be a "honour" to receive the valiant pilot as he and his father are alumnus of the National Defence Academy where Capt Amarinder too has been.
The Congress leader tweeted: "Dear Narendra Modi ji, I am touring the border areas of Punjab and I am presently in Amritsar. Came to know that Paksitan has decided to release Abhinandan from Wagha. It will be a honour for me to go and receive him, as he and his father are alumnus of the NDA as I am".
Senior Air Force officer Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor told media persons here on Thursday that the release of pilot Wg Cdr Abhinandan is happening "in consonance with Geneva Convention".
Wg Cdr Abhinandan's MiG 21 was shot after he actually also brought down one Pakistani F-16 fighter on February 27.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in Parliament on Thursday that the pilot would be released as a "peace gesture".
"We are happy that our pilot who had fallen across the line of control and was in the custody of Pakistan is being released. We are extremely happy, we want to see him back. Once he reaches back and is handed over to us we will then make any further comment," Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor has said.
India on Wednesday and Thursday insisted that there should be immediate and safe return of the pilot.
The Indian government officials had also made it clear that there would be no deal.
The refrain from the Indian side being - New Delhi expects him to return immediately and there is no question of a deal on the matter. Indian position has been crystal clear - pilot Abhinandan has to return unharmed, unconditionally and immediately.
Wing Commander Abhinandan ha brought down a F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force by firing an R-73 air-to-air missile before his jet was hit.
A day after India carried out aerial strike, Pakistan had launched a retaliatory raid trying to target Indian defence facilities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani attempt was, however, foiled.
Image Credit: UNI