Indian Air Force Sends Pilot Abhinandan On Leave
Faizan Hashmi 5 days ago Thu 14th March 2019 | 07:11 PM
Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was released by Pakistan in a gesture aimed to de-escalate the conflict after his MIG-21 was shot down during the dogfight between the countries, has been sent on leave on Thursday
NEW DELHI (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / NNI - 14th March, 2019) Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was released by Pakistan in a gesture aimed to de-escalate the conflict after his MIG-21 was shot down during the dogfight between the countries, has been sent on leave on Thursday.According to Indian media reports, the debriefing of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been completed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and other agencies and has been sent on sick leave.Media reports further stated that the IAF pilot would now go on sick leave on the advice of doctors of Army's Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi.A medical review board in the near future will assess the medical fitness of the Wing Commander and decide when he can resume his operations as a fighter pilot.On March 1, Pakistan had returned an Indian pilot who had become the face of the worst military crisis between the two countries in decades, in a gesture aimed at demonstrating its willingness to de-escalate the conflict.Wing Commander Abhinandan, downed February 27 over Azad Kashmir, crossed into India at the Wagah crossing point, hours later than expected.
Twelve days later Indian warplanes launched a strike inside Pakistani territory, claiming to have hit a militant camp. An infuriated Islamabad denied casualties or damage, but a day later launched its own incursion across the LoC.Prime Minister Imran Khan, had announced his impending release in parliament, calling it a "peace gesture" on March 1.Khan alluded to the catastrophic consequences of nuclear war and called for talks -- even as he warned India should not take the announcement as a sign of weakness.Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi meanwhile said he was boycotting a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Abu Dhabi, as India had been invited.The tensions prompted Pakistan to close down its airspace, disrupting major routes between Europe and South Asia and grounding thousands of travellers worldwide.Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said Friday that flights could land and depart from its main airports from 1300 GMT, and that others would be opened "gradually".