Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an oblique yet clear reference to IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan while addressing the Construction Technology India 2019 conference in New Delhi, a day after India's heroic pilot returned to the country after two days in Pakistan's custody.
Watch in the video above, and read in the text below, what the Prime Minister said to thunderous applause:
"This is certain, whatever India will do, the world will watch closely. This country has strength, it chances dictionary meanings of words. Once upon a time Abhinandan used to mean congratulations, now Abhinandan's meaning will change. That strength exists in this country. Come, let us take that self-confidence forward - we have to move forward as a courageous (parakrami) country, and to fulfill our dreams, we have to take timely steps, one by one, the government is with you.
On Friday night, as Wing Commander Abhinandan crossed over into India, PM Modi tweeted the following:
"It is good to be back in my country," was the first reaction of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as he set his foot back on Indian soil, as stated by an official quoting the ace pilot after he received him at the Attari-Wagah border soon after his release by Pakistan.
Wing Commander Abhinandan had fallen into Pakistan's clutches after his MIG-21 Bison shot and brought down a Pak F-16 as the Indian Air Force sent a 24-strong Pakistan Air Force jet-fighter formation packing, foiling the belligerent nation's attempt to attack India in retribution for the precision strike India had conducted on Pakistan's terror factories along the LoC on Tuesday morning.
While announcing the decision to release Wing Commander, Pak PM Imran Khan had attempted to paint a 'good gesture' narrative despite the truth being that he had been left with no option because of the relentless and inexorable pressure screw India had applied on Pakistan across multiple dimensions, demanding the release of its heroic pilot.