IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's Return Hailed by PM Narendra Modi
File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi | (Photo Credits: IANS)

New Delhi, March 1: Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's return to the nation from Pakistan's custody was hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him an inspiration for the nation. The PM took to social media to express joy, stating that the entire nation is proud of his courage.

"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)," Modi said. Abhinandan Returns From Pakistan Via Attari Wagah Border; India Celebrates; See Pic & Video.

Here's the Prime Minister's tweet on IAF Pilot's Return:

Watch Video: Sequence of Events Leading to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's Return

The IAF pilot, who was taken into Pakistan's custody on Wednesday following a brief aerial engagement between the two air forces, was released today. The decision to free him was taken by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, calling it a "peace gesture" amid the escalating tensions with India.

Abhinandan landed on the Indian soil at around 9:10pm, being receiving by the BSP personnel at the Wagah border, who in turn handed him over to the IAF.

"We are happy to have him back," said a top IAF officer Friday night shortly after the captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was handed over to Indian authorities by Pakistan at the border point here.

Reading out a brief statement, Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, assistant chief of Air Staff, told a posse of reporters that the pilot will be taken for a detailed medical examination as he was subjected to lot of stress during his nearly three-day captivity.