Upon his return from the Pakistan custody, the country lauded the valour of Wing Commander Abhinandan and acknowledged with the dignity he conducted himself across the border. However, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid while hailing the air-warrior chose to give Congress the credit for his courage.
In a superfluous tweet, the Congress leader said: "Many kudos for Wing Commander Abhi Varthaman the face of India’s resistance to enemy aggression. Great poise and confidence in face of adversity. We are proud that he received his wings in 2004 and matured as fighter pilot during UPA."
After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and others.
The Indian Air Force pilot 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.
The Indian government put enormous pressure on Pakistan for his release, and found support from the global community.
Tensions between the two countries escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday.
Pakistan retaliated the strike by carrying attempting to target Indian military installations on Wednesday. However, the IAF thwarted their plans.
The Indian strike on the JeM camp 12 days after the terror group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.