Indian fighter pilot goes missing from action, reportedly under Pakistani custody

In a press briefing earlier today, the Ministry Of External Affairs confirmed that Indian military installations were targeted and attacked by Pakistan airforce on Wednesday morning, as a retaliatory action against India’s strikes on terrorist camps on Pakistan.

During the course of air fight, one Pakistani F16 fighter jet that had intruded inside Indian Airspace was shot down. However in this engagement, one Indian Mig 21 fighter jet also crashed on the Pakistani controlled side of the LOC. The pilot of the plane is currently missing in action.

“In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG-21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” Kumar said, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has claimed of capturing one Indian fighter pilot named Abhinandan Varthaman of the rank of Wing commander. In one unverified video that is making rounds of the Internet, Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman is seen standing in a room before Pakistani Army officials, with his eyes blind folded and face stained with blood.

However, neither the blindfold nor the blood masked the dignity in Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s calm, clear voice as he spoke to his captors, on camera.

He told them who he was, gave them his service number, and identified himself as a Hindu. When a gruff demand for more details followed — “What else?” — Wing Commander Varthaman replied coolly:

“I’m sorry sir…that’s all I’m supposed to tell you.”
His politeness was not reciprocated. No clear answer was offered when he made his own request for information, again with remarkable composure: “Am I with the Pakistani Army?”

Hours after this video, another clip was released by Pakistan’s propaganda machinery, in which Wing commander is seen in a more relaxed position with blood from his face cleaned, band-aids on hand and sipping from a cup of tea. In the second video, he confirms that he is being treated well and with respect in Pakistan, as per the military ethics.

It remains to be seen, which direction this confrontation takes from here on. Though both Indian and Pakistani government have called for peace and not to escalate this any further.