Saturday Feb 27, 2021
Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman believed there is “no reason” for Pakistan and India to continue with hostilities and called for peace between the two neighbours.
“I see no reason for us to continue with any kind of hostilities,” Abhinandan can be heard saying in a new video released by the Pakistan Army on the second anniversary of Operation Swift Retort.
The video seems to be part of the same interview which was aired two years ago shortly after the capture of Abhinandan.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace in 2019 and arrested the Indian pilot.
The IAF pilot can be heard saying in the video that war happens between countries when "there is no peace”. He adds that he wants to live in a peaceful environment.
“I do not know what we should do to achieve peace but I only know that there should be peace,” says the wing commander.
During the video, the wing commander also spoke about Kashmir and said that neither he nor the Pakistanis know “what is happening to a Kashmiri”.
“We must think with calm heads,” says the pilot.
“I saw both countries when I was coming down on a parachute, and I could not differentiate between the two countries from above,” the Indian pilot observes.
He tells his interviewer that both countries are “beautiful”.
“When I fell down I did not know whether I was in Pakistan or my own country India. To me, both countries looked the same, the people looked the same as well,” says the pilot.
The pilot said that he was badly injured when he ejected from his aircraft and once he landed he was not able to move. He added that after landing, he tried finding out which country he was in.
“When it looked to me that I was not in my country, I tried running,” says the Indian pilot, adding that a “charged” crowd tried capturing him as well but he was saved by the Pakistan Army.
“Within that moment, two soldiers of the Pakistan Army came and captured me and saved me from there. One captain of the Pakistan Army came and he saved me from these people.”
The Indian pilot says that after his capture, he was taken by the Pakistani captain to his unit, where he was given first aid.
“After that, I was taken to the hospital where I was examined and more aid was given to me,” the pilot recalls.
Following the events, the wing commander remarked that he found the Pakistan Army to be a “very fine”, “professional” and “chivalrous” force.
“I’m very impressed by the chivalry displayed by the Pakistani Army."
Two years ago on February 27, then Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor had confirmed that two fighter jets of the IAF had been shot down after they crossed the LoC and came inside the Pakistani airspace.
"One of the aircraft fell inside AJK while other fell inside IoK," he had said.
The swift response from Pakistan came a day after IAF jets intruded into Pakistani territory and dropped their payload on a hillside in Balakot, fleeing as the PAF jets scrambled.
Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had said, "Two Indian jets entered Pakistani airspace and the PAF faced them. The two planes were shot down — one fell in our space and the other on their side."