Pilot's return our diplomatic victory: Amit Shah

The BJP president questioned Pakistan PM Imran Khan's silence on the Pulwama terror attack

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 1.03.19, 12:23 PM
  • Updated 1.03.19, 12:23 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Amit Shah said the Narendra Modi government has been able to create "fear" in the minds of those perpetrating terrorism. PTI

BJP president Amit Shah on Friday said creating a situation for the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman from Pakistan was a diplomatic victory.

Varthaman's MiG-21 was shot and he bailed out after bringing down one Pakistani F-16 fighter during a dogfight to repel a Pakistani attack on Wednesday morning. He has been in Pakistan since then.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in Parliament on Thursday that Varthaman would be released on Friday as a "peace gesture".

Speaking at the India Today Conclave, Shah said, "Creating situation for return of pilot Abhinandan in such a short span of time is our diplomatic victory".

Shah also slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for not condemning the Pulwama terror attack and wondered how India could trust him. "The Pakistan PM should have at least criticised the Pulwama attacks, at least once. How can we expect anything from him, or trust him? Maybe the situation is not in his control. At least he could have done lip service," he said. 

The Pakistan PM should have at least criticised the Pulwama attacks, at least once. How can we expect anything from him, or trust him? Maybe the situation is not in his control. At least he could have done lip service.

Amit Shah

Shah said the Modi government has been able to create "fear" in the minds of those perpetrating terrorism. "I believe the track record of our government has been the best in dealing with terror since Independence... Maximum number of terrorists have been eliminated under BJP government led by Modi," he said.

A team of Indian Air Force officials will receive Varthaman at the Wagah border on Friday evening.

It is not clear whether he will be handed over to the International Red Cross or to the Indian authorities by Pakistan.

"We are happy that our pilot, who had fallen across the Line of Control and was in the custody of Pakistan, is being released. We are extremely happy to have him back. We only see it as a gesture, which is in consonance with the Geneva Conventions," Air Vice Marshal R.G.K. Kapoor, the assistant chief of Air Staff, told a news conference on Thursday.

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