Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time revealed what happened after Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistani forces during a dogfight on February 27. While speaking with News Nation’s Deepak Chaurasia and Peenaz Tyagi, in an exclusive interview, Modi said India had asked Pakistan officials not to harm Abhinandan, or “else it will ruin everything”.
“First, I got to know about airspace violation, Then I got know about Abhinandan. We had told them (Pakistan officials) very clearly. Don’t touch Abhinandan, else it will ruin everything,” Modi said in the interview.
Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat.Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.
Relations with Pakistan
PM Modi also spoke of relations with Pakistan. Modi said he wanted “friendship” with the neigbouring nation, inviting former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “India convinced people that Modi wants cordial ties with Pakistan. Later, when they did Uri and I ordered out air strikes, I didn’t need to convince global community. Now, Pakistan is publicly distancing itself from terror groups,” the PM said.