'Hope he returns home safe': Father of IAF pilot held by Pakistan
MUMBAI: The father of Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, captured by Pakistan after an air combat, on Thursday said he was proud of his son's bravery and thanked the people for their support and good wishes.
In a statement, Abhinandan's father S Varthaman, who was an Air Marshall, referred to a purported video of his son after his capture, and said he spoke like a "true soldier" despite being in captivity and that he was praying he would not get tortured in the neighbouring country and return home "safe and sound".
In the evening India erupted in joy when Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan announced that Abhinandan will be released on Friday as a "gesture of peace".
The family of Abhinandan has an excellent track record of serving the Indian Air Force for generations since the second World War and his father besides being an ace pilot was a consultant for Mani Ratnam's film "Kaatru Veliyidai".
Pakistan held Abhinandan on Wednesday after fighter jets of both nations engaged in an air battle following an unsuccessful attempt to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes.
"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," his father said.
"I am sure all your hands and blessings are on his head...prayers for his safe return. I pray that he does not get tortured and comes home safe and sound in body and mind," the veteran IAF personnel, whose father was also an air warrior, further said.
He thanked the people for being with the family in this hour of need. "We draw our strengths from your support and energy," he added.
Meanwhile, well wishers and political leaders continued express solidarity with the family of the IAF pilot. Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar was among those who met the family at their suburban residence in Chennai.
Jayakumar lauded the captive IAF officer's parents for their courage adding it was unforgettable.
"Abhinandan's father Varthaman Air Marshall (retired) served the nation during the Kargil war," he said adding the captive officer's grandfather Simhakutty too had served the nation during the second world war in the Air Force.
Local MLA S R Raaja, Lok Sabha MP K N Ramachandran, VIPs, and officials including those from the police visited Varthaman's residence.
当地的部长S R Raaja、Lok Sabha议员K N Ramachandran、达官贵人以及包括警察在内的官拜访了瓦尔塔曼的家。
For the veteran Air Marshall, who is a recipient of honours including a Param Vishisht Seva Medal, an uncanny similarity between reel and real life now appears to be playing out in his own life.
Just like the 2017 Tamil film "Kaatru Veliyidai," for which Varthaman was a consultant, his son has unfortunately landed in Pakistan's custody.
In the movie, hero Karthi -who essayed the role of an IAF officer- lands in Pakistan after his jet was shot down.
A silver lining is that the hero was reunited later with his family in the movie.
Actor Karthi tweeted saying, "I'm very fortunate to have met a few of our fighter pilots in #IAF. It's a true honour to know them and they are men of a different league. I sincerely pray for the safe return of our warriors.
According to a defence release issued in 2011, when Varthaman took charge as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command, he was among a few select pilots to hold the distinction of having flown 40 types of aircraft with over 4000 flying hours.
During the Kargil conflict, he was the Chief Operations Officer of Gwalior and he was in command of an operational airbase in the western sector at the time of Operation Parakram following the December 13, 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/47127.html 译者：Joyceliu
Kan Basu - 2 hours ago -Follow
Whole country is praying for the safe return of Wing commander Abhinandan. Not only his father, whole country is proud of him. He is the real hero.
Thokrey - 2 hours ago -Follow
Great father, great son. Don''t worry sir, those pigs will not lay a finger on him, you can be sure of that. Else this nation''s wrath is something that they will not be able to face!
Dead - Listen - 2 hours ago -Follow
Abhinandan is a LION..Who else agree??
Milton Mathews - 2 hours ago -Follow
We are all praying for your son''s safe return Sir. My Salute to him. Jai Hind
Sulai9211 Khan - DUBAI - 2 hours ago -Follow
The nation is with you barring the anti nationals. There isn’t as much threat from Pakistan as with number of traitors here. Their statments and hypocracy shouldn’t compromise our brave soldier’s release. We pray from bottom of our heart for his quick release
Vivek - Chandigarh, India - 2 hours ago -Follow
We will ensure that the lion gets back home hale and hearty
Ashley King - 2 hours ago -Follow
Sir, We salute you who stands affirm is such an emotional situation. He will back soon.
Dr Patra - Kolkata - 2 hours ago -Follow
Don''t worry sir. He will back soon. We are with with you and your braved family.
Ashish - New Delhi, India - 2 hours ago -Follow
You and your son are the real heroes of this country. India is safe because of soldiers like you. May God bless your family and keep all of you United in good health...
Sakti Sanker Dutta
Sakti - 2 hours ago -Follow
Yes Sir, good is great. Your son will definitely come back soon. Like all Indians I prey to almighty for his safe return.
Nandkumar - 2 hours ago -Follow
Don't worry sir, he will be with you soon.
Nabeel Khan - 2 hours ago -Follow
Despite so much of filth being said here lSir you have a decent and brave son. We will return him soon dont worry. We know how to treat soldiers especially the ones that have proven their courage and blood line
Niranja - 2 hours ago -Follow
Courage to face difficulty in present situation..hope pak will return back our hero as early as possible without hurt and torture....
Puneet Mohan - 2 hours ago -Follow
Salute to your brave son and your Sir
Mahesh Jayaram Shetty
Mahesh Jayaram Shetty - 2 hours ago -Follow
Don''t worry Sir, he will back very soon, entire country is with you, Jai Hind, Jai Bharath Maa
Aagarwal - 2 hours ago -Follow
your son is indeed a great fighter.. he will surely be back at home safely.. proud of you and Abhinandan..Jai Hind
Ashish - Hyderabad - 1 hour ago
Wing commander Abinandan is a "Lion" and look like "LION" too. I Salute to his braveness and entire Nation is proud of him.
JayHind - 2 hours ago -Follow
Salute to brave Father & Brave Son Abhinandhan, Like Kargil War Pilot returned in 8days, we pray safe and sound return of Abdhinandahn
Vikram - 1 hour ago -Follow
pakis commenting hear are probably living in fools paradise... they have probably forgot how their shameless army surrendered in 1971. they even disowned their slain soldiers during kargil.. let them live in lala land... their obsession with INDIA has cost them Bangladesh.. very soon Balochistan will follow suit....
Subhendu Basak - 2 hours ago -Follow
We all draw inspiration and bravery from Great Father Son. May all of us be such brave to counter evil and terrorism. We salute your resolve in this situation to see brave son captive with enemy. We pray for his early and safe return without any harm.
Siddhartha Bhatnagar - 2 hours ago -Follow
Sure Sir, he will definitely return home soon. My best wishes and prayers are with your son, The India''s Brave Fighter. Jai Hind!!!
当然，先生，他肯定很快就会回家的。我为您的儿子奉上最虔诚的祝愿和祈祷，印度的勇敢战士。印度必胜! ! !
Biju Sudhakaran - 2 hours ago -Follow
Praying for his safe return
Balaji - 2 hours ago -Follow
We are proud of him. We are praying for his safe return.
AGR india - chennai - 1 hour ago -Follow
The whole world is behind your son for safe return asap,.Salute to your son bravery. Every Indian is proud of your son bravery. We Indians are proud of this nation as today India is setting an example on hoe to fight against terror sponsor nation.
Vignesh Maheshwar - Chennai - 2 hours ago -Follow
Dear Father of a Great and Brave Son. My family are myself are fasting the whole of today for your son''s safe and sound return. He will come back soon sir. JAI HIND.
Uniqueness - Is Present - 2 hours ago -Follow
Nothing can happen and will happen to any soldier of 1ndia.
Nothing to worry.
He will return alive and in good health.
Saying so not on hope whereas on evidence as PAK will not like to go fully fledged war with 1ndia.
So be relax as sometime may take as procedures takes time
JD - Pune - 2 hours ago
We all are praying for his safe return Sir,he will return home safe soon. Jai Hind!
pr - Kolkata - 1 hour ago
We pray for the safe return of our Wing Commander Abhinandan.
Jignesh Mehta - 2 hours ago -Follow
He will come home for sure without any compromise with national interests. India will not bow to the false offers of Pak
Sar - 2 hours ago -Follow
Only you IAF/army/navy people are the real heroes of our country otherwise politicians from modi to rahul are total disaster.
Moses - 1 hour ago -Follow
what a proud moment for the father,i bow to you sir...do not worry sir your son and our brother will return home safely...
Jitendra - Location - 1 hour ago -Follow
Yes sir! Our prayers and good wishes are with him and your family
Okman - India - 1 hour ago -Follow
Our prayers for his safe return... SALURTE THE BRAVEST FAMILY ON EARTH !
nanna_id2006 - 1 hour ago -Follow
Salutes to you and Abhi Sir.. Jai Hind We will bring him back safe and sound Amin
Niranjan Shirpurkar - 1 hour ago -Follow
He is the lion of goddess bharat maa. No harm will be near him.
Ravindra - Chennai - 2 hours ago -Follow
Sir we all true Indians with you and your family, pray from bottom or our hearts for the brave one to return safely , jai hind ,
Pasrichaj - New Delhi - 2 hours ago -Follow
Father is a brave veteran of IAF. Every nationalist is standing along with him and his entire family at this time.