NEW DELHI Abhinandan used to mean welcome, but its meaning would change now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday in an apparent reference to the IAF pilot released by Pakistan.
The world takes note of what India does and the nation has the power to change dictionary meanings, Modi said at a housing ministry event here.
His remarks came a day after IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was handed over to India by Pakistan after being in captivity for nearly three days.
He was captured on February 27 by Pakistan following a dogfight between the two air forces in which his MIG-21 was shot down.
The world takes note of what India does India has the strength to change the meaning of words in the dictionary.
Abhinandan once used to mean welcome. And now the meaning of Abhinandan will change, he said
Soon after the pilot was released, Modi had tweeted, Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage.
Abhinandan Undergoes ‘Cooling Down’ Process
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was brought to Delhi after Pakistan released him through the Attari-Wagah border late Friday night, underwent a series of medical tests as part of a “cooling down” process, officials said.
Early Saturday morning, Varthaman met his immediate family members as well as several top officials of the Indian Air Force, they said.
Varthaman arrived in the national capital around 11:45 PM Friday and soon after he was taken to the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services. He was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 .
Wing Commander Varthaman is undergoing a series of medical tests as part of the “cooling down” process and it is expected to continue till Sunday. Once, the health check up phase is over, debriefing sessions will be arranged for him, the officials said.
When he crossed over to India Friday night, his right eye above his handlebar moustache appeared swollen.
After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and others.
A video circulated on social media that he was badly beaten up by a group of people after being rescued by Pakistani security personnel.
Pak PM was in Lahore to ensure ‘smooth’ handing over of Abhinandan
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was present in Lahore to oversee the ‘smooth’ handing over captured Indian Air Force pilot to India at the Wagah border on Friday, official sources said.
Khan arrived in Lahore on Friday afternoon, a couple of hours before IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was brought to the Wagah border from Islamabad, amid high security.
“PM Khan’s main purpose of being in the town was to oversee the ‘smooth’ handing over of the captured Indian pilot to the Border Security Force,” an official source said.
He said during his stay Khan held a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, who praised the premier for ordering the release of the Indian pilot.
They said this gesture would establish that Pakistan was a peace loving country and wanted peace with its neighbouring countries especially India.
Buzdar said: “This move will help de-escalte tensions between India and Pakistan.”
“The prime minister stayed in the city till the time the Indian pilot was handed over to his country. Later, he left for Islamabad,” the source added.
Pakistan Foreign Office, in a statement issued after handing over of the Indian pilot to India said: “Prime Minister Imran Khan who announced his (Varthaman’s) return as a ‘goodwill gesture’ aimed at de-escalating rising tensions with India.”
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.