Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is proud of the IAF pilot returning from India. "Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians. Vande Mataram!(sic), he said on Twitter.Watch Video: Sequence of Events Leading to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's Return

"Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been handed over to us. He will now be taken for a detailed medical checkup because he had to eject from an aircraft. IAF is happy to have him back," Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said.

IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was accompanied by IAF Group Captain Joy Thomas Kurien, Defence Attache to Indian High Commission in Pakistan.

IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who has returned from India, will be taken for medical check-up. Air Vice Marshal said the medical check-up is necessitated as the Wing Commander had to eject himself from a crashed flight on Wednesday, which would have severely stressed his body.

BSF has handed over the IAF pilot to the paramilitary forces, who will in turn hand him over to the Air Force. The Wing Commander would subsequently be flown to Delhi.

IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman has returned from Pakistan via the Wagah-Attari border. He has been received by officials of the BSF.

According to reports, the process of handing over the IAF pilot at the Wagah-Attari border will begin shortly. After being handed over, the Wing Commander would be attended by a medical team, before he flies to Delhi.

The timing of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's return to India has been changed twice by Pakistan. According to news agency ANI, the IAF pilot would be handed over at 9pm.

Ambiguity prevails over the timing of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's return to India. Reports claim that the IAF pilot could be handed over to the Indian authorities anytime soon.

IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who is returning from Pakistan, will be handed over to the Indian authorities shortly at the Wagah-Attari border, reports said. He would be subsequently flown to Delhi.

Load More

New Delhi, March 1: Pakistan will release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force (IAF), who was captured when his MiG-21 went down in Pakistan-occupied territory. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced in the National Assembly that the captured IAF pilot will be freed as a 'peace gesture'. Abhinandan Varthaman will be returning to India between mid-noon and 1 pm. Catch live news updates on Abhinandan Varthaman's homecoming.

Pakistan is expected to hand over Wing Commander Varthaman, son of a decorated IAF veteran, to the Indian high commission. He is likely to cross over from the Wagah border. It is not clear who will be at the Wagah border to welcome the IAF pilot on his arrival from Pakistan. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has offered to receive Wing Commander Varthaman at the border.

Wing Commander Varthaman's MiG-21 crashed in Pakistan-occupied territory on Wednesday during an Indian Air Force operation to thwart Pakistani planes intruding into Indian airspace. He downed an F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force by firing an R-73 air-to-air missile before his fighter jet was hit. He was then captured by Pakistan. After Imran Khan's Pitch For Talks, India Hands Over Dossier to Pakistan With Details of JeM Role in Pulwama Attack.

On Wednesday, Pakistan carried out a retaliatory aerial raid unsuccessfully targeting Indian defence facilities in Jammu and Kashmir, a day after the IAF struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. The air strike was carried out 12 days after a suicide bomber killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed admitted to carrying out the attack.