Indian Air Force pilot A Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has said that he found Pakistan’s armed forces highly professional and brave in their endurance.
The Indian pilot said that he didn’t feel any difference between Pakistan and India while coming down via parachute, adding that he observed both the countries are the same from different aspects.
He further said that no one knows what is happening in Kashmir, adding that we (Pak-India] have to think patiently about the situation in Kashmir.
It is pertinent to mention here that Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan armed forces in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after his fighter jet was hit by a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet during the February 27, 2019, standoff. Later, he was released and handed over to India as a ‘goodwill gesture’.
The PAF carried out an “Operation Swift Retort”and shot down two Indian Air Force fighter aircrafts and dropped bombs within the compounds of Indian military facilities in Indian occupied Kashmir as a warning to the country’s belligerent neighbor.
On the other hand, the nation is celebrating February 27 as “Surprise Day” to pay tribute to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for downing an Indian fighter jet piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardaman in 2019. The operation also resulted in the capture of an Indian pilot, after his Mig-21 was shot down in AJK.
In this regard, a major ceremony to mark ‘Surprise Day’ was held at Air Headquarters Islamabad. While addressing a ceremony, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan said, “We want to live in peace but if our sovereignty is challenged, our response would always be swift and resolute as it was on 27 February, 2019”.
The Air Chief further said, “PAF maintained its Operational Readiness to deter aggression, despite the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.”
He said Pakistan is confronted with varied challenges including a Hybrid War, which demands our enhanced commitment and vigilance. PAF endeavors to augment its capability in all spectrums of operations while pursuing modernization through indigenous efforts.
Former Air Chiefs and a large number of PAF officials attended the ceremony.
Earlier, a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Air Force presented the Guard of Honour. Another important event of the ceremony was a spectacular fly past by two formations of PAF fighter aircraft including F-16, JF-17, F-7 and Mirage.
The ceremony was rounded off with soulful performance by the young students of Fazaia School and College.