Guwahati, February 27, 2019:
Amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and conflicting reports coming from both countries regarding the situation, Pakistan has claimed that an Indian MiG 21 Bison pilot called Abhinandan Varthaman is in their custody, while the Indian Government has also acknowledged that an IAF pilot is missing in action.
A video released by Pakistan is now doing the rounds on social media which shows the pilot being interrogated in a Pakistani military camp. ‘Pakistan Radio’ has also shared images of the blindfolded and bleeding pilot on their official Twitter handle.
In a video clip which has been released on video-sharing site Youtube, the blindfolded pilot is seen answering an interrogation from the Pakistan armed forces in a dim while wearing military apparel. With blood dripping from his nose, he states that he has “got hurt”. “My name is Wing Commander Abhinandan. My service number is 27981. I’m a flying pilot. My religion is Hindu”, he says.
Upon being prompted by an unseen person to reveal his squadron, he said that he is not supposed to reveal that. “Am I with the Pakistani Army?” he queries and refuses to answer any more questions asked to him by the soldiers in the undisclosed location.
While the war-like situation continues to unfold, the Indian Government has released a statement saying that a MiG 21 (presumed to be belonging to the missing pilot?) aircraft was lost after a Pakistan Air Force F16 was shot down during a military operation during which Pakistan Air Force jets had crossed over to the Indian airspace. Pakistan has presented a conflicting story, with claims being made that they shot down two IAF jets and arrested two pilots.
Tensions continue to escalate between the two nations after the Pulwama terror attack where 42 CRPF jawans were martyred. In retaliation, India launched an attack on terror pads of the Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit in at least three locations in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. Meanwhile, Pakistan has urged for peace and appealed the Indian Government to settle for peace.