An Indian Air Force commander is in Pakistan’s custody. Wing commander Abhinandan was abducted during operations which broke out after Pakistan violated Indian airspace. Pakistan then released a video of his interrogation but he did not flinch or reveal the details of his mission when asked. Many videos began circulating on social media showing local mobs beating him up.
Later in the evening, another video released by Pakistani news sources showed Abhinandan to be in good health, sipping tea and saying “the officers of the Pakistani Army have treated me very well”, while also politely declining to answer questions from the detaining officer.
The father of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman prayed for his son’s safe return on Thursday (28 February 2019).
“Thank you, my friends, for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely…a true soldier…we are so proud of him. I am sure all your hands n blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return, I pray that he does not get tortured, and comes home safe n sound in body and mind. Thank you all for being with us in this hour of need. We draw our strengths from your support and energy,” the message by Veteran Air Marshal Varthaman, the Wing Commander’s father said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah and demanded the immediate and safe return of the pilot. It was also made clear to Pakistan that no harm should be caused to the pilot, the ministry said, adding it has conveyed strong objection to the neighbouring country at the “vulgar display” of an injured personnel in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. Also Read: Read Facts & Watch Brave Videos Of Flying Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman
Pakistan is barred from torturing Wg Cdr Abhinandan, has to return him at end of hostilities
It must be noted that Abhinandan’s human rights, as well as those of any prisoner of war (PoW) are protected under ‘The Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War’. This means that not only is Pakistan prohibited from torturing or coercing Wing Commander Abhinandan, it is also obligated to return him to India at the end of the hostilities.
Article 13 of the Convention of 1929 clearly states: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention.”
Indian Twitter was vociferous demanding the return of the pilot and hoping it would bring the two countries sort out their points of contention. Some very angry Twitter users wanted more action against Pakistan while many were clear that India should push diplomatically for the return of Indian personnel in Pakistani custody.
The entire nation prayed for the captured hero and hoped that he is returned safely. The hash tag “#SayNotoWar” and #Abhinandan were among the top trends globally on Wednesday.
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