NEW DELHI A video released by Pakistan on Wednesday evening purportedly shows captive Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinadan Varthaman, looking calm and composed and claiming he has been treated “very well” by the Pakistani army.
The video clip, released by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani armed forces, went viral on social media.
In it, Abhinandan says that he wanted “to bring this on record” that he has been treated well. The Pakistan army s behaviour is “quite professional and impressive”, he said.
“I would like to put this on record and I will not change my statement if I go back to my country also, the Pakistani army has looked after me very well and they are thorough gentlemen…,” Abhinandan could be heard saying in the video.
He also said he was thankful to the Pakistani army for saving him from a murderous mob after his MiG 21 Bison crashed in Pakistani territory.
A Pakistani army officer is heard in the background asking the IAF pilot about his mission on Wednesday. To which, Abhinandan stuck to his previous reply that he is not supposed to reveal any details.
Indias foreign ministry branded Pakistans videos as a vulgar display of an injured airman, saying they violated international humanitarian law and the Geneva convention.
Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return, it said in a statement.
Pakistans army spokesman Asif Ghafoor tweeted a photo of the airman and said he was being treated as per norms of military ethics. Pakistani tweeters said he had been shown exemplary hospitality.
After Pakistans government released a picture of the downed pilot, social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp were inundated with old videos and photos of him.
By Wednesday evening, the two top trends on Twitter in India were about the pilot, with many Indians demanding his release under a #BringBackAbhinandan hashtag.
In one video shared on social media, purportedly from 2011, he is seen dining with the hosts of a popular Indian television food show. Asked about attributes important for a pilot, he says: Bad attitude.
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